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Nouvelle Vague Explicit Lyrics

4.2 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Explicit Lyrics, May 3, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Exclusive US edition of their debut album, originally released Internationally in 2004, features one bonus track, 'Sorry For Laughing', Originally released as a single by Josef K in 1980. Luaka Bop.

Recycling the 1980s sound has been in vogue lately, so it’s no surprise that the producing team known as Nouvelle Vague would find yet another way to mine the nostalgia for the early ‘80s, post-punk era. They’re doing it bossa nova style.

The disc opens with a rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." It’s a charming start, and with a breathy chanteuse on vocals, it’s exactly the kind of sound that has some music critics proclaiming (admittedly with a touch of sarcasm) that Nouvelle Vague is the ironic dinner music for the new millennium. Unfortunately, this CD is somewhat less winning as it wears on. "Guns of Brixton" is annoying when done in a loungey mood, and sitting through "Too Drunk to F**k" in the wrong company could certainly ruin the amuse bouche. Nevertheless, the entertaining tracks do outweigh tiresome ones on this release. If this concept sounds like an interesting idea to you, you’re bound to get a smile from the execution. --Leah Weathersby

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Love Will Tear Us Apart
  2. Just Cant Get Enough
  3. In A Manner Of Speaking
  4. Guns Of Brixton
  5. This Is Not A Love Song
  6. Too Drunk To ****
  7. Marian
  8. Making Plans For Nigel
  9. A Forest
  10. I Melt With You
  11. Teenage Kicks
  12. Psyche
  13. Friday Night Saturday Morning
  14. Sorry For Laughing

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 3, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Explicit Lyrics
  • Label: Luaka Bop
  • ASIN: B0007YMVOW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Nouvelle Vague Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I have most of the originals & was quite into all of the original artists that this band has covered, in fact the 1977-1985 years were probably my favorite for pop/rock. Remakes/tributes are usually a mixed bag. Many are done by less talented groups to confirm their hipness & end up on cringe-inducing tribute collection albums. Those done by better artists often fail to capture the spirit of the original, or try to put a new twist on the song, but end up being really cheesy (and not in a good way). This collection of tracks seems like another gimmick, take a mix of post-punk hits & a few obscurities & give them a bossa nova facelift, making them a little bit more appealing & recognizable than the Muzak punk CD "Punk Rock Baby". However, I do feel that the album works quite well & doesn't become tiresome half way through listening to it. It's quite a lot better than another (recently-released) 80s remake CD I heard playing in a store not too long ago (I think the artist focused on politically-oriented songs from the era), which tried too hard & ultimately failed to either add anything new or match the originals in quality. Only 2 songs really fall short on those grounds & those 2 songs are probably the least known of the lot (KJ's "Psyche" & Josef K's "Sorry For Laughing"), so most people won't mind. The singer wavers between sounding like a number of different female singers (at their most subdued): Hope Sandoval (from Mazzy Star) (on #2 & #8 & #10), Bjork (without the high notes) on #4, the woman that sang that "Telephon Man" song from the 1970s on #6, & even a bit of Dusty Springfield (as on her version of "Windmills of My Mind") on #3.

This album isn't quite perfect, but I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could.
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Format: Audio CD
Take classic post-punk songs, by bands like Joy Division, the Clash, the Cure, and the Dead Kennedys which. Now give them a new sound: bossa nova.

That's the particular gimmick of Nouvelle Vague, whose self-titled debut is an ironic little curiosity. And while it has pretty, tongue-in-cheek covers like a sultry "Love Will Tear Us Apart," it never really rises above the status of "ironic little curiosity."

It opens with the legendary Joy Division song, done to a trippy bossa nova sound, and backed by lifeguard whistles and waves crashing. Then it dips into a chipper cover of Depeche Mode's "Just Can't Get Enough," a rather plodding acoustic cover of the Clash's "Guns of Brixton," and a mildly engaging version of the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks."

There are sultrier numbers as well -- the Cure get a cover with sultry night noises and slow guitar in "A Forrest," and "Sisters of Mercy" is practically transcendental. But while I love the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to F*ck," it doesn't translate well to an awkward bossa nova rhythm. It doesn't fit in, and is distractingly disjointed even when taken by itself.

Is "Nouvelle Vague" a pretty bossa nova covers album? Oh yes. Will it actually be listened to again? Hard to say. It's an interesting listen, but a novelty rather than an album in its own right.

Certainly Nouvelle Vague has excellent choice in retro rock music, since they chose several excellent groups to cover here, and often their best songs as well. Some are catchy, some are cutely sugary, some are ethereal ballads. They're pretty to listen to, but somehow the individual flavour of each song gets lost in the downtempo sound.

Whatever you think of the music, it can't be denied that Camille Dalmais has an exceptional voice.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The songs are great, the singers (there are seven in all) are competent, what I don't like is the music. It doesn't swing, and I can't discern even the lightest bossa-nova influence.

Honestly, the arrangements are pretty pallid. There's a guitar, some soft drums, maybe strings in the background on a couple of songs. And they just kind of play through, like a lounge band would; nothing too difficult, not much passion. I'd love to recommend one or two individual songs, but they're all pretty much the same.

Now I enjoyed hearing the inimitable Camille Dalmais interpreting "Guns of Brixton," once, but the novelty wore off for me after that first listen. Maybe arranging music that was catchy and heartstopping in its first incarnation as drab pablum-pop is making a weird kind of revolutionary statement. Maybe it demonstrates that the establishment has coopted all those fiery ideals and passions that this music generated in the 80s. But for me, the music on the CD still ran in one ear and out the other.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is based on an interesting premise. Take a social-political-music movement, "new wave", and interpret it through bossa nova (which also means "new wave," in Portuguese). The brash male vocals and stark instrumentation of the original songs yield to cool female vocals and more relaxed tempos. Yang becomes yin.

But this is not to say that the songs lose any of their power in the process. Rather, they gain new layers of complexity through the bossa nova interpretation. "Brixton," for example, is a real treat -- the singer spits out the lyrics with a combination of contempt, weariness, and exasperation not possible in the original.

Thinking of _Nouvelle Vague_ as either "new wave" or "bossa nova" is actually quite limiting. I would say this project, deliberately or inadvertently, has much in common with Brazil's Tropicalia movement, in terms of its global outlook and focus on social issues. In order to make the transition between genres, the artists metaphorically traverse the Atlantic numerous times, from the U.K. to America to Europe to Brazil. In the process, they demonstrate that the social and economic issues underlying new wave still resonate, even decades later, when placed in a new context.

If bossa nova hadn't so quickly become associated with cheese in the United States, (ex. "lounge,") I'm certain that more of Amazon's reviewers would have recognized this album as the intellectual endeavor that it is, rather than reading it as a handful of light, ironic new wave covers.
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Joy division not my cup of tea
There's good stuff, even if you don't like Joy Division.
May 8, 2006 by K. Muehlner |  See all 3 posts
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