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Bande à part

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Album Review

It was something of a small miracle that the first Nouvelle Vague album managed to avoid the seemingly inherent kitsch of covering new wave classics as slinky bossa nova. Unfortunately, the group doesn't quite pull it off the second time around. Bande a Part has several songs that meet the standard set by Nouvelle Vague: "The Killing Moon," "Dance with Me," and "O Pamela" translate well into bossa nova ballads and manage to keep the songs' and the singers' dignity intact, while the Cramps' "Human Fly" sounds nearly as mischievous — and a lot more elegant — in Nouvelle Vague's hands. There are also a few downright silly moments. The version of "Pride (In the Name of Love)" feels like it's trying to be as serious as the original yet flip at the same time, and ends up failing on both counts, while "Dancing with Myself" sounds more like a reinvention of Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5" than of Billy Idol's hit. Mostly, however, Bande a Part just sounds like an uninspired rehash of Nouvelle Vague. The covers of "Ever Fallen in Love," "Heart of Glass," and "Shack Up" aren't embarrassing, but they aren't especially interesting, either. Considering Nouvelle Vague's popularity, it's understandable why the people behind the project would want to try to repeat their success, but it's too bad that it wasn't left as a singular, pleasant surprise.

Biography

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s, '10s

With a name that means "new wave" in English and "bossa nova" in Portuguese, Nouvelle Vague's moniker neatly sums up the group's concept: remaking classic new wave singles with a Brazilian pop twist. Nouvelle Vague are the brainchild of French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux. Prior to this collaboration, Collin played with the trip-hop outfit Ollano; composed film soundtracks such as The Kidnapper's Theme; and released electronic music ranging from club-oriented material for Paper Recordings...
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Bande à part, Nouvelle Vague
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