Bande A Part represents a bit of a change from the group's first offering, Nouvelle Vague. Most of the songs one the first album were reasonably well-known 80s classics. Bande A Part explores some of the lesser known songs from the decade, interspersed with a few more popular hits like the Buzzcocks, Blondie, New Order and The Cramps. Unlike the first album where most of the songs were instantly recognisable, you'll probably find you need to listen to this one a few times, but its a definite grower.
The introduction of the squeezebox on their rendition of "Fade to Grey" by Visage reinforces the group's Frenchness - the beauty of Nouvelle Vague as a group is the delicacy of the French chanteuses' voices set against quite tough, masculine lyrics - I find that this actually makes the songs a lot more accessible in the Nouvelle Vague format than the original - the slower tempo and the feminity of the lead singers means you absorb the lyrics more easily. Lots of great stand out songs - Dance With Me, Don't Go (remember the Yazoo original?), Human Fly, Sweet and Tender Hooligan... its definitely worth paying the extra couple of quid for the limited edition version, you get 4 more songs. Lovely artwork as usual with Nouvelle Vague, I saw them live at the Bataclan in Paris on 14 June - if you get the chance to see them in concert - DO - the lead singers choreography works beautifully with the their poignant singing. One of the most satisfying CD purchases I've made in some time, I would be surprised if you were disappointed... then again, Nouvelle Vague appeal to an age bracket of late 20s+ as those are the people who will remember the original versions of these songs.