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This review is from: Late Night Tales - Mixed by Nouvelle Vague (Audio CD)
Following on from compilations by Air, Four Tet, Zero 7 and others, the Late Night Tales series has persuaded French New Wave samba-stylists Nouvelle Vague to offer a glimpse into their home stereo play list. And if you're expecting an album of gentle Latin rhythms well you're in for a surprise. NV's entry in the LNT series is a mix of ambient, easy listening, indie and even a little spoken word.
We start with The Special AKA's reggae-lite Girlfriend before NV's own `exclusive cover version' of Come On Eileen (not their strongest work, it must be said). The music of The Pale Fountains (Unless) and 80's electro goths / short-lived Bahaus side-project Tones on Tail (Moment of Fear) both demand re-examination based on the strength of the tracks included here. There's a great mix of vocal styles on offer from the `naïve' stylists such as Nouvelle Vague singer Cammile Dalmais (here singing as Les Petroleuses) and Norwegian singer-songwriter Anja Garbarek; the epic vocals of Glen Campbell and Charlie Rich and the butter-smooth Peggy Lee and Julie London.
A cool breeze blows through the Music of Os Mutantes, Isabelle Antena and Brazilian bossa ingenue Cibelle, while Kim Deal & Tanya Donnelly under the guise of This Mortal Coil could make time stand still with the ravishing You & Your Sister. The Charlie Rich track San Francisco is a Lonely Town surprised me with it's Walker Brothers majesty and although the mid-point Eno-esque ambience of Gavan Bryars' The Vespertine Park does slow the collection down perhaps a little too much, I'm going to think of it an as intermission. Proceedings pick up again with the glambient David Sylvian before an unexpected segue into the avant-guard pop of the Art Bears' Freedom and Peggy Lee's You're My Thrill. Also unmissable are the tracks from Avril and jazz diva Shirley Horn. This deeply moody collection is nothing if not eclectic and possibly a voyage of discovery for many listeners. If you're looking for something that's adventurous yet comforting, alien yet strangely familiar, this top notch collection will do you well.