Olivier Libaux Uncovers Queens of the Stone Age

Corbis/Geraldine Petrovic

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Olivier Libaux
Uncovered Queens of the Stone Age
Music for Music Lovers

France’s Olivier Libaux is one of the leaders of the group Nouvelle Vague, which specializes in lounge-tinged covers of such New Wave oldies as “I Melt with You” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Here he trains his revisionist eye on a current artist, turning down the heat in similar fashion on a dozen Queens of the Stone Age originals with the approval of Queens mastermind Josh Homme (who is not otherwise involved).

Nouvelle Vague albums sometimes seem like high-concept (albeit amusing) gimmickry, but Uncovered works nicely. In contrast to the Queens’ hard-rock stomp, the understated arrangements underscore the dramatic melodies, while the 11 women enlisted to sing mostly evoke a sense of alluring retro cool, even if Libaux’s mellow settings tend to blur the chanteuses’ differences.

In any case, standouts include Guatemala’s Gaby Moreno, Ambrosia Parsley of Shivaree, Iceland’s Emiliana Torrini (sounding less Bjork-like than she often does on her own albums), and especially Inara George (The Bird and the Bee). George is the only vocalist who performs on two tracks, and her studied detachment on “No One Knows” and “Hangin’ Tree” might induce chills.

Libaux could probably have a field day with other unlikely source material. What’s next? A Hank Williams tribute maybe?

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate