Nouvelle Vague are famous for making electronic versions of punk and new wave classics. Over the past 15 years, a few of those covers have remained unreleased. Curiosities gathers them all together in one place. The most interesting songs on here are The Gun Club’s Sex Beat, Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ Blank Generation and Suicide’s Ghost Rider. On Kwaidan Records.
CD £11.99 KW110CD
CD on Kwaidan Records.
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Vinyl LP £17.49 KW110LP
LP on Kwaidan Records.
There's nothing music fans like better than repetition. The same thing album after album. Just look at Status Quo and the Brian Jonestown Massacre for good examples of doing the same thing over and over to ecstatic responses. So Nouvelle Vague are onto a good thing. For 15 years they've been remaking hits of the late 70s and early 80s in a very French Easy Listening style. Sometimes they get it absolutely spot on - their version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is an example of when they perfect this sound - but mostly they make nice background music shops and cafes can put on that will have patrons flapping their ears in vague recognition.
Amazingly they've produced even more re-makes than they've ever released and so Curiosities rounds up all the tracks that have fallen by the wayside and you have to say that there's a lot of stuff here that's as good as what has emerged onto their albums. Of particular note is their lounge jazz take on I'm In Love With A German Film Star which shifts gender from female to male and there's a nice swing version of Mirror in the Bathroom - surely an unruinable song if ever there was one.
At times you can see why they stayed in the can - Don't You Want Me is awful and some of the tracks are over busy. Nouvelle Vague are at their best when simplifying songs so that they stand up with minimal arrangements and all the clutter removed. But generally this is a nice addition to their catalogue .
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