Duran Duran, Danse Macabre Review


Duran Duran, Danse Macabre Review

By Constance Tucker

Duran-Duran-AAV-CDDuran Duran’s latest creation, Danse Macabre, released on October 26, 2023, under the banner of BMG, is the band’s 16th studio album. The collection of songs has a theme of embracing the spirit of Halloween with a blend of new melodies, covers, and reimagined classics. The contribution of guitarist Andy Taylor can also be heard throughout the project.

The band’s venture into the theme of Halloween is a bold step and a natural evolution. Duran Duran, a band known for its unique blend of pop, dance, and rock, has seamlessly woven their signature style with Halloween’s eerie, yet exhilarating, spirit. The inclusion of covers, alongside new compositions, showcases the band’s versatility and their ability to adapt and innovate while staying true to their roots.

The album’s opening track, a fresh version of “Nightboat,” is a fine example of Simon Le Bon’s vocal power. His ability to infuse each phrase with mystery and emotion, paired with the song’s darker, more substantial arrangement, is an auditory delight. The track’s slower tempo allows a deeper exploration of its haunting theme, initially inspired by Lucio Fulci’s 1979 horror film, Zombi 2.

“Black Moonlight” is a beacon of Duran Duran’s classic dance beat. Featuring Nile Rodgers, this track exemplifies how the band can place a spooky filter over synthetic funk, creating a sound that is both familiar and fresh. Le Bon’s vocal mastery, particularly his diction and dynamic control, drives the track, inviting listeners to immerse themselves in the rhythm.

The rendition of Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend” is another high point. Duran Duran’s ability to reimagine this song while maintaining its dark essence and then elevating it with dance beats and strategic use of backing vocals displays their musical acumen. Le Bon’s glissandos add a layer of expression that is subtle and impactful.

Throughout the album, Duran Duran balances the spooky with the, creating an ambiance akin to a spirited Halloween party rather than a delve into the gothic. Their choice of covers, ranging from Talking Heads to Siouxsie & the Banshees, and their original compositions demonstrate a keen understanding of their audience. They cater to both long-time fans and newcomers, making Danse Macabre a celebration of their historical sound while pushing into new territories.

Danse Macabre is an album with Duran Duran’s enduring appeal and their ability to evolve while respecting their musical heritage. The album is a journey through many emotions and styles, much like a well-orchestrated Halloween party that caters to various tastes. It’s a record that celebrates Duran Duran’s musical journey and reaffirms Le Bon’s status as an innovative and powerful vocalist.


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