Nouvelle Vague Acoustic

It isn't difficult to make a compelling case that Nouvelle Vague have overstayed their welcome. While their remaking of '80s new wave hits was once cute, it isn't any longer ― it was a one-album joke that should have stopped after their debut. Yet they still have their fans and that's why this 2009 acoustic concert is being reissued after the initial fan club pressing sold out. By stripping down the songs to their bare minimum, it robs them of any charm they might have possessed when they were passed through the Nouvelle Vague filter. Now, they simply sound like terrible acoustic versions of '80s songs, which isn't a good thing. Some tracks survive this treatment better than others ― it helps when little is done to them, like with "The Killing Moon" ― but others fall victim to poor attempts at reinvention and are almost played for laughs, such as "Relax." That might have been fun for those in the audience, but those of us coming along afterwards lack the stamina to make it through this painfully long 70-minute abomination. (New Sound Dimensions)