Danse Macabre (Tape Modern/BMG)
When Duran Duran released a covers album, Thank You, in 1995, the general critical retort was “no thank you,” and questions to the effect of how could they possibly dare to cover Lou Reed. In fact, Reed gave Simon Le Bon the thumbs-up when he heard the new romantic icons’ interpretation of Perfect Day. Twenty-eight years later, the band pull a similar move with Danse Macabre, and it’s more than just a quickly-recorded Halloween-themed covers album.
Certainly, there are covers – of Siouxsie & The Banshees, Talking Heads, Billie Eilish, the Rolling Stones and The Specials – but there are also newly recorded versions of Duran Duran deep cuts. The best of these is Night Boat, which takes the 1981 original into bleaker territory. There are also new tracks that build on what the band achieved with their last album Future Past, and might point to where Duran Duran go next: Danse Macabre the song, for example, a slice of industrial dance-driven pop, and the moody, arty and cinematic Confession In The Afterlife.
Danse Macabre has enough to keep the most impassioned Duran Duran fan happy, and some surprises for those that lost touch with this band after Rio or The Wedding Album.
words DAVID NOBAKHT