Various - Nouvelle Vague presents New Wave
Nouvelle Vague, of course, are familiar with cover versions, having gained a cult following for their readings of various punk and post-punk tunes (amongst them Teenage Kicks and Love Will Tear Us Apart). This compilation, as the press release succinctly puts it, is like Nouvelle Vague in reverse; Marc Collin and Gilles Leguen from the band have selected cover versions as performed by artists of the 70s and 80s.
It's an expectedly weird collection. While few would argue many of these better the originals, the interpretations are rarely less than interesting. Silicon Teens, for example, turn The Kinks' You Really Got Me into a synthy number, while the phrasing on Devo's version of Satisfaction (I Can't Get Me No) render it an almost different song entirely. Jo Lemaire + Flouze's Je Suis Venue Te Dire Que Je M'en Vais, originally by Serge Gainsbourg, is the most professionally produced and sexy thing here, but other standouts include Snakefinger's The Model, it having a sleazy Parisian charm, and The Stranglers' organ-drenched Walk On By.
Often inspired, sometimes irritating and thus likely to provoke debate, if you accept this compilation for what it is - two CDs of curios -, it's worth a listen.