wed 19/06/2024

Album: Duran Duran - Danse Macabre | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Duran Duran - Danse Macabre

Album: Duran Duran - Danse Macabre

New Romantic veterans’ Halloween album is a throwaway oddity

Danse Macabre: a bit of a horror

Simon Le Bon has described Duran Duran’s new album as being “about a crazy Halloween party” that is “supposed to be fun”. In fact, it’s a fair bit thinner than even that might suggest.

Danse Macabre consists of mainly inadvisable cover versions of tunes by the likes of the Specials and Billie Eilish, a handful of reinterpretations of some of their old album tracks and three uninspiring new songs, written especially for this project. So, anyone expecting a reworked film soundtrack to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre might be advised to lower their expectations to something closer to an alternative accompaniment to Adams Family Values.

Things kick off with a reworked version of “Nightboat”, with added “spooky” comedy-horror film tropes that fall very short of the sounds of the Creatures of the Night. Hopes are raised slightly with the funk-driven “Black Moonlight”, which is powered by John Taylor’s hefty bass riff, and a mash up of their own “Lonely in Your Nightmare” with Rick James’ “Super Freak”. It’s all a bit of a flash in the pan though and the otherwise unremarkable title track even has Vanilla Ice-calibre rapping on it – which is unfortunately not even the worst thing here. That prize goes to a musical theatre-style take on the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black”, which would even have Michael Crawford backing away in shame.

That said, Danse Macabre isn’t a complete musical horror show. The covers of Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Spellbound” and Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” are stand out tunes that could easily compete for space in Duran Duran’s current live setlist. Only being able to salvage enough decent material to fill two sides of a 7” single from a whole album that features guest appearances from former band members Andy Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo, as well as the legendary Nile Rodgers, is mightily disappointing though.

Anyone expecting a reworked film soundtrack to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre might be advised to lower their expectations

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