It'd be easy to dismiss as novelty – a group whose body of work consists solely of cover versions. But Nouvelle Vague has found a mesmerizing formula: Pair angelic female voices and acoustic guitars with jazzy, Franco-Brazilian arrangements of New Wave and alt-rock classics.

Brilliant! And the irony-feasting, coffee-house bohemians go wild.

But Bande A Part , the second effort from French duo Marc Collin and Oliver Libaux, offers more than campy irony, choosing radical reinterpretation over imitation.

The set kicks off with “The Killing Moon'” (Echo & the Bunnymen); its vocals are breathy and eerily blase, providing a nice counter to original Echo singer Ian McCulloch's bombastic baritone.

The momentum stays strong with a bouncy, charming version of the Buzzcocks' “Ever Fallen In Love,” with Nouvelle Vague even adding bongos and an accordion, then a vibrant take on the Lords of the New Church's “Dance With Me.”

Bande A Part suffers toward the middle with dreary, droning versions of Yazoo's “Don't Go,” Billy Idol's “Dancing with Myself” and U2's “Pride (In the Name of Love).”

But overall, the covers are fresh enough to stand on their own.

Grade: B