Nouvelle Vague

Bande À Part | Luaka Bop
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 11, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

If it’s possible to give a one-trick pony legs, then French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libau have found the secret. Having perceived that “bossa nova” is Portuguese for “new wave,” the studio duo came up with one of those brilliant yet simple ideas that someone should have thought of years ago: setting classic new-wave tunes to bossa nova beats. There’s a bit more to it than that: their homonymous 2004 debut (released stateside by V2 last year) created elegant electro-organic bossa-nova-based backdrops for a variety of alluring French and Brazilian vocalists whose English-as-a-second-language delivery only added to the exquisite alienation of “Love Will Tear Us Apart” while bringing a bubbly innocence to “Just Can’t Get Enough” and a stoic cold shoulder to “This Is Not a Love Song.” But where do you go from there? Bande à Part (also the title of a 1964 film by Nouvelle Vague director Jean-Luc Godard) answers mostly by staying put. And it’s the song selection that keeps the party swinging, with marimba and acoustic guitar only slightly echoing the Bunnymen on “The Killing Moon,” a strummy groove offsetting the luxurious naughtiness of “Dance with Me,” and a hard-swinging groove pushing “Dancing with Myself” right past its double entendres. (Not to mention the memory of Anna Karina and friends doing the Madison in Godard’s film.) “Pride (In the Name of Love)” seems a misstep in that it’s not a song you can sass; “One” or even “New Year’s Day” would have been a better choice. And if you don’t know the original — say, the Cramps’ “Human Fly” — then it’s only half as much fun. But Bande à Part is worth it just for its creeping (but not quite creepy), sexualized “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”

Nouvelle vague + The Submarines | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | September 16 | 617.228.6000

Related: Through the Forest | À travers la forêtà, Unmitigated Gaul, No fooling, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Jazz and Blues,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEND IN THE CLOWNS  |  July 02, 2009
    The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
  •   ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS  |  September 16, 2008
    Lack of talent, charisma, and/or personality can prevent a good band from achieving greatness — but too much of a good thing can also be a problem.
  •   ROCK THERAPIES  |  July 22, 2008
    A little over four years ago, the Boston music scene lost one of its cuter couples when singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and guitarist/producer John Dragonetti left town for LA.
  •   FORTUNATE ONE  |  July 07, 2008
    It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
  •   BOSTON MUSIC NEWS: JULY 11, 2008  |  July 08, 2008
    The New Year, a band the Kadanes started with Chris Brokaw on drums a decade ago, are still a going concern.

 See all articles by: MATT ASHARE