Lonely in Your Nightmare — The Daily Duranie Review

It has been two weeks since our last review and we are determined to keep moving through the lengthy Duran catalog. We continue with another track off of Rio, the third song on the album, Lonely In Your Nightmare. This song is unique in that it is one of the very first Duran ballads. It was not a single off the album but they did make a video to accompany it, which was filmed in Sri Lanka, at the same time that they made the videos for Hungry like the Wolf and Save a Prayer.


Musicality/Instrumentation: I like the very natural and relaxed feeling of this song. It’s much slower, a lot less pop/rock/etc than a lot of other tunes on this particular album, and is really in a completely different vein from what they’ve done prior. However different, this song carries the hallmarks of a Duran Duran song from this period. The layering of sound, the atmospheric synthesizers (have you sat and listened to JUST Nick’s synthesizers on this one? Gorgeous!), the beautiful, soaring guitar during the chorus, and the way that no one instrument holds all the keys. Each one provides their own part, and not one instrument can stand up against all the others and still play the song – it takes all of them to create the full melody.  Even the guitar and as powerful that sound can be, it is not overpowering, and on this song (and many/most others within the Duran catalog), it really captures more of a rhythm guitar placement – it’s not truly the lead throughout the song. If only one thing demonstrates just how non-existent the egos were during this period, it is this type of songwriting.

Vocals: Hands down, this is one of my personal favorites from this album. (So much for an unbiased review, right??) Simon’s deep voice is truly stunning. He sounds relaxed, his throat completely open (no strain or squeezing the notes off), and that really adds to the casual, easy nature of the song. There is also a very tender, nurturing and caring quality to his voice in this song that translates very well with the mood. I can picture him sitting back and singing this effortlessly. Then you get to the chorus, and once again we hear what becomes the trademark of a Duran song – the stacked harmonies. Many of our fellow fans insist that Simon’s voice, the harmonies specifically, are what make Duran Duran sound like Duran Duran.  I wouldn’t argue against that – it is one part of what makes their music recognizable to anyone who has paid the least bit of attention over the years.

Lyrics: Truthfully, most of the time when I listen to this, I’m carried away by the music so much I forget to even THINK about the lyrics. I’m already picturing myself on a lounge chair looking out over the ocean….. Ok, so I’ve been thinking a lot about my upcoming vacation lately, I admit it! When I do listen, it’s really obvious to me that the song is about someone who is resistant to letting someone get close to them. The song is about getting past that surface, to the real soul of the person. I really get this, and maybe the song has been speaking subliminally to me for the past few decades. I think the song is about a girl – probably because I *am* one – and she is private, she keeps her stress, sorrows and pain very private. Maybe she’s been hurt quite a bit and isn’t ready to trust, and Simon is pleading with this person to let him in, to trust him, that he won’t hurt her. While sure, the song is not difficult to understand, I think it’s beautifully written. There is still a ton of imagery going on there even though Simon was able to make his point clearly. “There’s heat beneath your winter, let me in.” or “Please tread gently on the ground when all around you earth turns to fire.”  Come on now…that’s brilliant! The words hold personal meaning for me, and probably any other one time teenager who took the time to listen…and now as an adult I still find myself taking comfort in the words.

Production:  The production on this song was done very well and with a very light hand. I hear the slight echo throughout, but the effect only helps to give the song this warm quality – as if the sound is swirling around you every so softly. I really can’t pick out any one thing I would have liked to hear differently. They took special care to make sure that nothing sounded muted, or that one instrument was heard above all others – and yes, I’m going to use that word again: BALANCE. They got it so right here.

Overall: So the song is among my favorites, and I’m not a ballad girl by any means. That makes it tough to find anything wrong here, and I can’t. If I were to be asked what song off of this album sounds the most natural and yet the most like Duran – I’d say it would have to be this one. I can imagine this song even being done acoustically. Live. (not that I would ever suggest such a thing. *gasp*  Unplug Nick?!?  NEVER!)  I know what you’re all thinking, “You haven’t done Save a Prayer yet!” I know. I just think this song is the one people forgot but shouldn’t have. The underrated one. Just wait ’til we get around to reviewing videos (in the year 2025…)

Cocktails:  4.5 cocktails!


Musicality/Instrumentation: As always when I review a song, I take the time to listen to it again. I try to pay attention to every note, every nuance and this song was no different. I love that the song begins with a hum that increases in volume for the first five seconds or so. I’m not sure why I love it so. Maybe, it is because it grabs my attention. Then, of course, all of the instruments come in. Like Duran of this era, the musicality of the verses definitely have the usual layering of sound. If you listen closely, you can focus on just the drums or just the keyboards, for instance. If you pull back, all the instruments are working together. I love that about Duran. Obviously, one of the most striking elements to this song is the slower tempo than what we have been used with the first two songs on the album or with the first album.  While it is a slower pace, it still makes you want to sway along to the music. It isn’t completely still, which is even more obvious when the chorus starts. The music then shifts to a different focus. The keyboards in particular remind me of slow waves, which makes the shots in the video very fitting with the shots of water.    

Voice:  Simon’s voice is smooth and moves through a range that I, personally, enjoy as he moves a little  lower, a little deeper at the end of each line. Of course, Simon’s voice is at its best during the chorus when there is an added harmony. Here, Simon’s voice really becomes an additional instrument as his voice does exactly what the rest of the instruments do. It blends to enhance the sound while, at the same time, being able to stand on its own.  Of course, the end of the track, Simon adds a little do-do-do, which is found in a number of songs on this album. Unlike the previous track, My Own Way, this addition doesn’t take any of the quality of the song away, in my opinion.

Lyrics:  These lyrics seem pretty straightforward to me. Clearly, this is about a person who is having a rough time or has a rough life. Simon wants to help her out by having her share her problems with him. He wants her to open up to him. While this message isn’t really hidden, it still seems very heartfelt to me and very much fitting to the music itself. The music has a slow sway to it. The lyrics feel the same. There is a kind of wave to them with the frequently mentioned “let me in”. The entire package feels very sincere to me as it really does feel like Simon wants to help. In this case, I’m glad that the lyrics are obvious. There is no need to hide or obscure them.  

Production: Truly, it is hard to say anything here that hasn’t been said about the production of the first two albums up until this point. I think the thing that impresses me the most about this song is that it was allowed to just be. There was no pressure to make it something it wasn’t. The lyrics were just allowed to be simple and heartfelt. The tempo was good as it was. There was no push to speed it up or slow it down. Sometimes, the key to being good isn’t about doing something but doing nothing.

Overall: This song feels so natural to me. It has many of the elements found in their early works, including the strong instrumentation that works both individually and collectively. The lyrics seem sweet and genuine. Yet, if they had pushed for what might have been deemed greatness, I think it would have been obvious and felt forced. The tempo would have been slower or faster. The lyrics would have taken the basic idea and had been made more obscure. Instead of forcing a sense of perfection, the song just is. It is not complicated but it works.

Cocktail Rating:  4 cocktails!

2 thoughts on “Lonely in Your Nightmare — The Daily Duranie Review”

  1. thanks for posting another pair of amazing reviews.
    This is mine:
    MUSIC-INSTRUMENTATION:it's a melodic, new romantic and very romantic music. I love the simplicity by which the melodies are built.
    VOICE:Simon gives his best on all of the tracks off Rio.
    LYRICS: the poem on nightmares! Brave and amazing.
    PRODUCTION:the track is a real masterpiece, but don't think it's overproduced.
    OVERALL: 4 stars **** – it's great, but not my fave off Rio.

  2. I have always thought that “Lonely In Your Nightmare” is a beautiful song, and never understood why it wasn't all that popular. I guess it was because the song was for most fans not very danceable, and most fans at that time were more into dance music, and this just wasn't what they were accustomed to hearing from Duran Duran. For me, I found it refreshing to find that they could come out with such a perfectly beautiful ballad, that wasn't sappy like most of the ballads coming out from other artists at that time. Even before I saw the video for the first time, when I listened to this song I could visualize a sleeping woman obviously struggling with her nightmares, with Simon sitting next to her concern writ across his face, as he asked her to let him in so he could ease her nightmares. So for me this song pointed out Simon's compassionate nature, and the band's ability to produce a soft, melodic, yet seductive tune that was also comforting. As for most fans not considering this song to be danceable, that I will never agree with, but then again Duran Duran hasn't put out a song yet that I cannot dance to. All in all I have always loved, and still love “Lonely In Your Nightmare”, it is just to beautiful not to.

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