The opener of Bande a Part, a cover of Echo & the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon,” is an interesting rediscovery of a phenomenal song that has become just as important to my generation (via Donny Darko) as it was to generations previous. But then everything goes terribly wrong — or, more precisely, terribly French vs. world music, with the only casualties being wonderful songs from the ’80s.
The fourteen covers are played well, and in many ways it is interesting what the members of Nouvelle Vague are trying to do — until you remember that they are destroying songs that you love, that hold so many dear memories. All the energy is sucked out of the songs, and they become sickly shells of the originals.
The sound of children laughing is sampled over the cover of “Ever Fallen in Love?” which sounds like it is being played by, at best, a talented wedding band. But one of the absolute lowest moments comes when the band attempts to cover U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).” The details are painful; I’m still in shock.
It was interesting to have Seu Jorge playing acoustic Portuguese-language versions of David Bowie’s songs in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic. And it was interesting to hear this French band playing these crazy acoustic-guitar heavy renditions of notable ’80s songs — the first time. But the joke gets tired. Bande a Part isn’t even worth your curiosity.