Nouvelle Vague Explicit Lyrics
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The disc opens with a rendition of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Its a charming start, and with a breathy chanteuse on vocals, its 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, youre bound to get a smile from the execution. --Leah Weathersby
Top Customer Reviews
This album isn't quite perfect, but I'd give it 4.5 stars if I could.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another cd for my collection of interesting remakes of music. Punk rock oldies with bassa nova beats sung in a sweet female voice in English with a French accent; excellent!Published on April 2, 2014 by O. Thibodeaux
So great. All the songs are absolutely amazing! You will love it! Timeless. Perfect. I adore it. Yes I do. Okay I've met my word requirements. ;-)Published on January 21, 2014 by Andrea Elise
Several songs are from soundtracks to movies and commercials alike. There is a certain new age jazziness to this album and it can be appreciated by all types of music fans.Published on February 21, 2013 by william lee
Nice french music with an american feel, I think its a good album and I dont regret picking it up. Hope you like it too.Published on March 27, 2012 by pale
I've bought this CD and Bande à Part together and I'm pretty bored with them after listening to them a couple of times. Same rhythm, same voices, same type of music... Read morePublished on April 6, 2010 by Pavic
I really really like this CD. I found it as a result of typing in the word "Hipster" in the Listmania search. Read more
This album has some really cool songs on it. If you stop and listen to it, you'll be hard pressed not to like this album.Published on January 27, 2008 by Lester Butler
I have to admit I am new to Nouvelle Vague. I have heard of them in magazine but never got around to checking out their music. Read morePublished on October 14, 2007 by E. Anderson