Boomkat Product Review:
Five years on from the release of the very first Nouvelle Vague album and the band's loungecore, bossa-beat covers of new wave hits are still coming thick and fast, although strictly speaking, for this outing the Latin American influences have been usurped by North American bluegrass and country. The fundamental principles of the Nouvelle Vague sound still apply, however. This time around bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, The Stranglers, The Police, The Go-Gos, Magazine and regular Nouvelle Vague targets Depeche Mode are all involved, plus a great many more. In essence the formula hasn't changed a whole lot since its first inception, although you might argue that there's a greater sense of legitimacy leant to this outing by the presence of special guests Martin Gore, Terry Hall, Ian McCulloch and Barry Adamson. After a spirited, Bestival-baiting rendering of Depeche Mode's 'Master & Servant', the band continue with Violent Femmes' 'Blister In The Sun', Talking Heads' 'Road To Nowhere', and further on tracks like Psychedelic Furs' 'Heaven' and Plastic Bertrand's 'Ca Plane Pour Moi'. At several points during NV3 you'll find yourself asking the question: Nouvelle Vague, why are you even doing this? Do you really believe that The Sex Pistols' 'God Save The Queen' is better served as a faux jazz-folk ballad, or is this album simply a re-telling of the same joke (a one-liner at that) you've been doling out for the past half-decade? What was once a faintly amusing distraction from sincere, more valid musical endeavour now threatens to become the ultimate shark-jump. Statements in the press-release like the following don't help matters much: "Gary Numan's 'Metal' is sung with innocence and charm by Eloisia, a young Brazilian girl who could barely speak English and knew nothing of this music." So the song holds no meaning for its performer? That's not really what you want to hear, is it? Yet this is the whole point according to the project's founder Marc Collin: "The original concept of Nouvelle Vague was to use young girl singers who don't know the meaning of punk and post-punk music [...] That way, they are bringing something new and totally fresh to the songs." That "something" presumably being a crippling indifference.