Duran Duran : Danse Macabre Review
Duran Duran’s latest offering, Danse Macabre, released on October 26, 2023, under BMG, represents a fascinating blend of the band’s iconic new-wave style with a spirited embrace of the Halloween theme. This album marks their 16th studio venture and showcases their versatility and enduring appeal.
The album opens with a revamped version of “Nightboat,” a track from their debut album, now infused with a darker and more elaborate arrangement. This new rendition maintains the powerful vocals of Simon Le Bon, evoking the horror themes of Lucio Fulci’s 1979 film, Zombi 2. The transformation of this classic track exemplifies Duran Duran’s ability to revisit their roots while injecting a fresh, contemporary perspective.
“Black Moonlight,” another highlight, epitomizes the classic Duran Duran dance beat. This track, featuring Nile Rodgers, weaves a slightly spooky twist into the synthetic funk sound that Rodgers is renowned for. It’s a perfect example of how the band can stay true to their dance music roots while exploring new themes and sounds.
The cover of Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” is particularly enjoyable. Duran Duran reinterprets this hit with their signature style, blending dark empathies with a quicker tempo and layered backing vocals. This transformation showcases the band’s ability to make a well-known song distinctively their own while maintaining the essence of the original.
Throughout Danse Macabre, Duran Duran successfully balance the eerie and the entertaining, opting for a vibrant, black-lit dance-pop rather than a purely gothic atmosphere. The album features a clever mix of covers and original compositions, ranging from Talking Heads and Siouxsie & the Banshees to the Rolling Stones and Cerrone. The inclusion of “Secret Oktober 31st,” a slow-burning track written with original guitarist Andy Taylor, marks a significant moment, as it’s his first recorded appearance with the group in nearly two decades.
The essence of Danse Macabre lies in its effortless blend of fun and seriousness, a characteristic that has been a staple of Duran Duran’s music. The album is a thematic exploration of Halloween and a testament to the band’s creative evolution and ability to engage with contemporary sounds and themes while staying true to their distinctive style.
In summary, Danse Macabre shows Duran Duran’s enduring legacy and their ability to adapt and thrive in the ever-evolving landscape of music. The album’s blend of the spooky and the whimsical, coupled with its exploration of new and classic sounds, makes it a compelling addition to the band’s discography and a must-listen for fans and newcomers alike.
October 26, 2023