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Album Review: Danse Macabre, Duran Duran

By: Erin Jones

The album cover for Danse Macabre by Duran Duran. (Photo Credit: BMG Rights Management LLC)

On Friday, Oct 27, British new wave band Duran Duran released Danse Macabre. The Halloween-inspired album is the band’s 16th studio album, and includes both original songs and covers.

Duran Duran consists of lead singer Simon Le Bon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, bass guitarist John Taylor and drummer Roger Taylor. The New Romantic group is cited to have led the Second British Invasion on American music during the 1980’s. Duran Duran has 21 top 40 singles in the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart, including “Girls on Film” and “Hungry Like the Wolf”. The group has earned two Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022.

Of the 13 tracks on Danse Macabre, six are covers: “Bury a Friend”, originally by Billie Eilish; “Supernature”, originally by Cerrone; “Ghost Town”, originally by The Specials; “Paint It Black”, originally by the Rolling Stones; “Spellbound”, originally by Siouxsie & The Banshees; and “Psycho Killer (featuring Victoria De Angelis)”, originally by Talking Heads. Duran Duran released “Psycho Killer” as a single on Oct 24, and features Victoria De Angelis, bass guitarist for Italian rock band Måneskin. These covers compliment Duran Duran’s original songs well. The group successfully makes these covers unique to Danse Macabre’s Halloween sound, but keeps them recognizable for audiences to enjoy. Overall, the covers bolster Danse Macabre’s liveliness and eeriness.

Other tracks, like “Love Voudou”, “Secret Oktober 31st” and “Super Lonely Freak”, are reworkings of existing Duran Duran songs. “Love Voudou” is a play on Duran Duran’s “Love Voodoo”. “Secret Oktober 31st” is a blend of “Night Boat” and “Secret Oktober”, both by Duran Duran. “Super Lonely Freak” is a combination of Duran Duran’s own “Lonely In Your Nightmare” and Rick James’ “Super Freak”. These reimagined Duran Duran songs fit the album’s Halloween theme. Further, they create an exciting new listening experience for fans.

Along with these covers, Duran Duran showcased new music on their album: “Black Moonlight”, “Danse Macabre” and “Confession in the Afterlife”. “Danse Macabre” was released as a single on Aug 30 and “Black Moonlight” was released as a single on Sep 21. These three songs are very enjoyable and great additions to Danse Macabre. Although these songs are the most recent, they share the same sound as the rest of the album, helping the the different types of songs featured in Danse Macabre fit together cohesively.

Overall, Danse Macabre is a fun and festive album. Its blend of familiar Halloween hits, reimagined Duran Duran songs and new and inventive tracks make for a worthwhile listening experience.

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