Saddle Creek | The Faint | Reviews


Danse Macabre

Author: Jacob
The Faint's Danse Macabre is 30 minutes of gothic dance mayhem. The retro new wave style of The Faint is embedded with countless samples and pop hooks. Unlike the new wave of the eighties, Danse Macabre is layered in Y2K production sheen, sounds more similar to Bis than Depeche Mode and sacrifices true heartfelt new wave emotion to club-style beats.

But the dance beats are fantastic. Danse Macabre is an infectious journey into dance music. Clever songwriting keeps this album alive, like their new wave forefathers. The Faint are masters of transition and variations on beats within each number. The details are what set The Faint apart. On "Glass Danse," for example, each verse/chorus raises in intensity, adding more samples and taking the most important pause before the main riff, then jumping right back into the beat, adding the organ background chords, taking out the organ, reintroducing the organ again, but this time with a filter. Every track on Danse Macabre is assembled with this level of precision. It's a shame The Faint aren't the favorite at dance clubs everywhere.

The lyrics of The Faint are perfect for the setting. On the opening track, "Agenda Suicide," The Faint show depth, bellowing "the drones work hard before they die/and give us our pretty little homes" and on "Posed to Death" the chorus is composed fully of "Ohs" and "Ahs." The Faint's lyrics are fun and loaded gothic tinge, perfectly complementing the music.

When The Faint slow down the tempo, a rarity on Danse Macabre, it sounds like slowed-down versions of the other songs. As a longtime Depeche Mode fan, their ability to seamlessly to go from "Personal Jesus" to "Sweet 16," the contrast between dance and balladry, is what makes (Yes, makes. "Exciter" and "Ultra" are way excellent; in fact The Faint's "Violent" and "Ballad of a Paralyzed Citizen" are full of drum and bass samples eerily similar to those of "Exciter") them the greatest. The Faint are masters of the dance, but have yet to master the subtlety of emotion that made the genre they are recreating the most special.
Danse Macabre

Danse Macabre

LP / CD / MP3