Three albums in, and Nouvelle Vague are still going strong. On one hand, you have to applaud the tenacity of Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux: basing their career around a project that should really only have lasted for one record is an achievement. Presumably, they're out to prove that chic covers of well-known rock songs are not just a fad - but you still have to wonder how far they can bring this project, which seemed to be losing legs by 2006, and their second album 'Bande a Part'.
That said, at least '3' provides a new twist on the original concept, with many of these featuring their original singers/writers. Well, two or three that agreed - presumably Johnny Rotten was off selling dog shampoo somewhere when Nouvelle Vague turned 'God Save the Queen' into a delightful acoustic pop tune. Elsewhere, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode features on a likeable 'Master & Servant', Echo and the Bunnymen frontman Ian McCulloch guests on the sexy, softly brushed 'All My Colours', Terry Hall lends his voice to 'Our Lips are Sealed', while Barry Adamson of Magazine brings a delightful growling darkness to his band's song 'Parade'.
Other highlights include the Belle & Sebastianisation of overplayed Violent Femmes tune 'Blister in the Sun' (a marked improvement), and Talking Heads' 'Road to Nowhere' transformation into a languid country ditty, replete with harmonies and slide guitar. Nouvelle Vague may not get a fourth album out of their novelty strategy, and dull versions of 'The American' (Simple Minds) and 'Say Hello, Wave Goodbye' (Soft Cell) only cement that inevitability. Still, it's harmless fun, made for sunny summer afternoons.