If the project is all about high concept -- "Nouvelle Vague" translates both as "new wave" and "bossa nova" -- it's also more consistently entertaining and illuminating than, say, The Grey Album. For all its soft sweetness, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is no less inscrutable and fatalistic than Joy Division's original, and other numbers reveal that their classic status is deserved as much for their solid tunesmithing as their sour shoegazing. "I Melt With You" is a no-brainer, but who knew the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" was so catchy? Or that Gallic wit could be so winning?
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