Duran Duran’s new album “Danse Macabre” was released October 27, 2023, on lead singer Simon LeBon’s 65th birthday.
Of course I had to get it. October being my birthday month, Hubby got me a gift card for South Metro Music so I could pre-order it.
I picked up the CD the day it was released and quickly made a digital copy so I could have it on my phone. The album is Halloween-inspired and includes a few new songs, several of the band’s previous songs reworked, and some cover versions of songs by other bands.
It’s a great album, but I’m still getting to know it. I love the mash-up of Duran Duran’s “Lonely in Your Nightmare” with “Super Freak” by Rick James. According to an article in Rolling Stone, the band has worked on trying to blend these songs for years. I’d say the result is pretty successful. They’ve called the mash-up “Super Lonely Freak,” [Rolling Stone] “Duran Duran Have Gone Fully Goth on Their New Album. Wait, What?” by Kory Grow, October 25, 2023, https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/duran-duran-simon-le-bon-danse-macabre-interview-1234856876/
As much as I like “Super Lonely Freak,” the song I can’t stop listening to is Duran Duran’s remake of the Talking Heads song, “Psycho Killer.” Simon Le Bon’s voice is in truly fine form on this song, with him hitting the high notes with splendid clarity.
There is a video for the song, another one created using a generative AI “Visualizer,” though I’m not completely clear on what specific application they are using. [YouTube] Duran Duran, “Psycho Killer,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REuoiWUZqXU&list=RDREuoiWUZqXU&start_radio=1.
The video features sharp red, black, white, and gray animation, with the bandmates appearing as cartoons. It’s got a striking visual effect, except that I realized upon the first watching that the same scenes kept repeating over and over again. I rewatched the video to count the number of scenes and repetitions. It looks like there are 13-14 scenes and they repeat 7 times, which is a lot. I kept wanting the story, which is a murder scene, to develop further.
If generative AI decided on the repetition, I don’t put a whole lot of faith in the technology. Did it run out of ideas?
And that got me to wondering how much human interaction there was in creating the video. Obviously, the Visualizer had to be fed images of the band in order to create the cartoons, but was there any other human involvement in shaping the video? If so, how did human’s contribute? Likely, there was a prompt that suggested the color scheme and imagery, but what about the editing? And that annoying repetition?
Thankfully, I don’t have to watch the video to enjoy the song. I’d say, overall, it’s another banger of an album for Duran Duran.