80's, Concept-album, Covers, Easy-Listening, Funky, Groovy, Happy, Intimist, Low vocals, Melancholic, Old School
"Duran Duran brings us 'Danse Macabre', a chilling and refreshing collection of Halloween-themed covers and new material."
ADRIANSTORK (18.01.2024)  
(0) opinions (1) comment(s) (1) Biography + (4)
After the international success of their first album in 1981, Duran Duran's career took a downturn in the mid-90s. But the boys from Birmingham kept going against all the odds, releasing albums with regularity until 2015. Simon Le Bon's band are well aware that they can't compete with the 'contemporary artists' that young people like, but that hasn't stopped them from adjusting their formula, modernising it and avoiding repetition.

For its second album in two years, Duran Duran has returned to its classic line-up, with guitarists Warren Cuccurullo (hired on "Notorious") and Andy Taylor on board as guests. The atmosphere is great, and each member is efficient in his or her chosen role. Simon Le Bon is always in top shape, often surrounded by female backing vocals that are not too intrusive. But as always, Nick Rhodes is in charge: his keyboards weave a veritable web of sound, colouring the compositions with textures as frenetic as they are dark. 

"Danse Macabre" is a collection of covers, old tracks and three original pieces revolving around disturbing or gloomy themes, giving the album a dark but never terrifying atmosphere. The album opens effectively with 'Nightboat', taken from the very first opus, which sets up an anxiety-inducing atmosphere. Among the original creations, it's the eponymous track that stands out the most, with its crushing wall of sound, Simon Le Bon's earthy vocals, searing bass and female backing vocals. It's a shame, though, that there aren't too many new things to put between your ears.

But the focus is particularly on the covers, and the choice is highly eclectic and marked by an adventurous spirit. The Rolling Stones' 'Paint It Black' is more tense and heavy than the original, thanks in particular to Nick Rhodes' keyboards, the roaring guitars and Simon's cold voice. The Specials' reggae 'Ghost Town', meanwhile, has been sped up and sounds like a ghost train whose driver has jumped off en route. Siouxsie And The Banshees' edgy, nocturnal 'Spellbound' is even darker and more gothic, and the Birmingham combo could have done well in this genre. Duran Duran outdoes Billy Eilish on 'Bury A Friend', giving it all the meatiness the original lacked. On the other hand, although 'Psycho Killer' is funkier than The Talking Heads' original, with the bass strut curiously held by Victoria De Angelis (Maneskin), the treatment is a little less accomplished.

Duran Duran have made their mark with a project that seemed to have been lost in advance. The spirit of this 'Danse Macabre' respects the Halloween tradition: having fun by scaring yourself. While there are a few regrettable choices in terms of interpretation and the frustration of having only three new tracks, this opus deserves to be hailed as it should be. Nick Rhodes and his band have retained all their exhilarating creativity, and it would be interesting to hear - as soon as possible - the successor to 'Danse Macabre' to find out if this experiment has been beneficial.
- Official website

01. Nightboat
02. Black Moonlight
03. Love Voudou
04. Bury A Friend
05. Supernature
06. Danse Macabre, +7. Secret Oktober 31st
08. Ghost Town
09. Paint It Black
10. Super Lonely Freak
11. Spellbound
12. Psychokiller
13. Confession In The Afterlife

John Taylor: Basse
Nick Rhodes: Claviers
Roger Taylor: Batterie
Simon Le Bon: Chant
Andy Taylor: Guitares / Invité
Nile Rodgers: Guitares / Invité
Victoria De Angelis: Basse / Invité
Warren Cuccurullo: Guitares / Invité
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
C'est le premier album de Duran Duran que j'écoute et c'est une grosse bonne surprise. Après une entrée en matière gothique (oui!) et qui capte donc mon attention, ce n'est que succession de hits. Seule Paint it black est inutile... Excellent album
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