At a time when seemingly every band with access to an analog synthesizer and a tube of hair gel was aping the New Wave sounds of the early 1980s, NOUVELLE VAGUE put a unique spin on the phenomenon. Their self-titled album is full of covers of classic tunes by the Cure, Modern English, Depeche Mode, et al. The striking twist, however, lies in the fact that all the songs are performed in old-school bossa nova mode, the lyrics delivered in a vintage Astrud Gilberto style. The cooing, breathy vocals and gentle acoustic guitar rhythms successfully transmogrify not only the pop-friendly confections of the aforementioned ensembles, but some edgier material as well. One hasn't truly lived until one has heard the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to F----" and the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" sounding like outtakes from the GETZ/GILBERTO album. NOUVELLE VAGUE successfully reinvents its source material without descending into mere schtick.
Entertainment Weekly (No. 817/818, p.147) - "Smoky piped chanteuses + a '60s bossa nova beat + '80s new-wave chestnuts = one chouette cover band....as good as it Getz." - Grade: B+