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I Could Be Happy

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Album Review

After an extended hiatus from recording, Nouvelle Vague reappears with I Could Be Happy, an album that attempts to remind listeners of the good old days and expand on the project's concept. Marc Collin, Olivier Libaux, and company stretch their sound to include dream pop and punk covers as well as new wave, and, for the first time, perform original material. I Could Be Happy opens with one of their finest covers yet, a version of the Cocteau Twins' "Athol-Brose" that surprises on many levels. Covering a group as unique as the Cocteaus is risky, but Nouvelle Vague manage to translate the song's woozy gorgeousness into silky, subtle bossa nova that is a little more grounded yet still sublimely sensual. Likewise, their version of "All Cats Are Grey" honors the mystique of the Cure's original while imbuing it with just enough playfulness. More of Nouvelle Vague's mischief is on display with "Love Comes in Spurts," which gives Richard Hell & the Voidoids' brash punk a radical makeover along the lines of their reworking of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to F**k." Meanwhile, Collin's "Loneliness" and Libaux's "Maladroit" are pieces of pretty French pop that suggest that this musical tradition could become Nouvelle Vague's future.


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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I Could Be Happy, Nouvelle Vague
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