Nouvelle Vague LateNight Tales

While the novelty of doing ’80s covers in bossa nova has not yet worn off (although it’s highly up for debate), France’s Nouvelle Vague should probably concentrate more on reinventing their sound for a third album instead of choosing late night compilations. Being in the LateNightTales series, you know you probably aren’t going to "get down” to the selection of songs but this album is a collection of sleepers that when played as a compilation, doesn’t even set the mood for any pending late night action. The opera-styled ska of the aptly-titled opening track, the Special AKA’s "(What I Like Most About You Is Your) Girlfriend,” is a great, groovy number and Nouvelle Vague’s cover of "Come On Eileen” is decent but from there it is a downward spiral into dark, arty wanks like those from a Bauhaus side-project, a couple experimental European bands that Nouvelle Vague have worked with and the touch dramatic David Sylvain. There’s some nice throwback jazz on numbers from Shirley Horn and Glen Campbell with "By The Time I Get To Phoenix” but overall, the tunes seem too serious and slow for what could have been a fun compilation. (Fusion III)