Tag Archives: Charli XCX

Kingdom – The Daily Duranie Review

Mockingjay Promo poster

Today we’re reviewing Kingdom, off of the soundtrack to the latest Hunger Games movie, called Mockingjay Pt. 1.  The soundtrack was released on November 17th.  “Kingdom” by Charli XCX, features Simon Le Bon. Yes, Duran’s Simon. While we are both super excited just to hear any new music from anyone in the Duran camp, we thought it would be good to take the time to really listen to the song and write about our overall thoughts.  Read our review and let us know what you think!

Rhonda’s Thoughts on Kingdom:

First of all, I must apologize for my tardiness in getting Kingdom reviewed.  I had asked Amanda to give her thoughts, but then completely forgot to add my own, and it has sat in our “drafts” box for quite a while now. Sorry!

I was somewhat familiar with Charli XCX prior to hearing that Simon would be featured on Kingdom – I have a teenage girl in the house, and so this artist has been mentioned by her before.  I was curious how the collaboration might sound, and I was very hopeful after hearing Simon’s own feelings about Kingdom in this interview on Yahoo! Music with Lori Majewski. He describes Kingdom as being a Nursery Rhyme musically, but lyrically being very, very dark.  After reading that, I was properly intrigued. Knowing the Hunger Games franchise, I felt that Kingdom would work really well in with the soundtrack, as well. Anyone who has read the books or seen the movies should understand the nuances between light (triumph) and darkness (loss) that occur throughout the series.

Although I am familiar with Charli XCX – it is by name only for the most part. I probably couldn’t pick her out of a lineup, and I doubt that I’d be able to recognize her music from others, so that is my disclaimer for this review.  As I listen to the beginning of Kingdom, the song reminds me of a child’s music box.  As promised, there is definitely a fairy-tale quality. The vocals are very well suited to the song – she has a child-like sweetness and innocence to her voice, which is such a fantastic texture to add to the darkness of the lyrics, which is also very reminiscent of a fairy-tale. (Have you really listened to a fairy tale or even Ring-Around-The-Rosey lately?? The plots and lyrics are freaking SCARY. I don’t think I realized until I became a parent. Talk about twisted..and we wonder why kids can’t sleep. Gee, I don’t know…maybe they’re afraid some witch is going to throw them into an oven, or feed them a poisoned apple…or they’re going to catch the plague and die!) There are some other little effects that go on here and there throughout Kingdom that, in my opinion, do little to benefit. In some ways the sound effects almost add humor to the song, and I don’t know that it’s needed. I just know that I love what was done with the song and the lyrics.  Now, about that Simon…. because I know that’s what you’re all wondering.  Simon’s voice is incredibly well-suited to this song, and it’s been SO long since I’ve heard and felt that timbre from his voice, there’s just this tasty depth that I don’t think he’s really used since the first Duran Duran album, but yet there’s still the light. Even here, his vocals have light, and the texture is unbelievably good.  My only small complaint is that they didn’t use him enough.  I love the way Charli XCX slowed the ending down, just as a music box runs out of steam, and the fairy tale of Kingdom ends.  Well done Simon, well done Charli XCX.

I haven’t caught the movie yet – and I enjoyed the books even though I bit my nails off from stress while reading, so I’m looking forward to hearing how this song might have been used. I bought the soundtrack off of iTunes just so that I could have Kingdom and it’s going to keep me going until Duran’s new album FINALLY COMES OUT…hopefully sometime this decade…. 🙂

-R

 Amanda’s Thoughts on Kingdom:

I will be the very first one to admit that I have no idea who Charli XCX is.  Is this someone I should know?  Will this artist blend well with Simon?  Will I care after not having any new music for so long?  Besides, I figured that Kingdom would just showcase Simon’s vocal skills.  I was definitely excited for that.  As much as I might give Simon a hard time about various things, I totally admit that he has some mad skills when it comes to that voice of his!  Of course, I also knew that Kingdom would be on a soundtrack.  Would it enhance the movie?  Will it match the mood of the movie or the scene that it will be featured in?  For me to answer those questions, I might need some additional time to actually see the movie.  All of that said, what did I think of the song without knowing how it is in the movie or without knowing anything about Charli XCX?

This is a strange song for me to review as it isn’t really Simon’s song.  He is just a guest, a featured artist.  Can I judge Charli XCX?  Do I know enough?  My guess is probably not but I will say what I think, anyway.  It wouldn’t be the first time that I offered an opinion here (ha!) and it won’t be the last (you can say that again!).  All that said, I love the opening notes to the song with the piano sound.  It reminds me of a Tori Amos.  The voice sort of reminds of Tori, too.  Clearly, Charli XCX does not have a common voice–it is more ethereal, more mystical.  This definitely fits with the description that Simon said about it being like a dark fairytale.  Normally, her voice isn’t a type I would choose to listen to, but, in this case, it really fits with the music and works to create a mood (much like Simon does at his best!).  Of course, about a minute in, the song shifts to include more instrumentation with an electronic feel along with the piano.  I love the music there–the militaristic drum sound really stands out to me. Then, Simon comes.  He is so smooth here and really does add something special to the song.  Yes, I’m a Duranie.  Does that mean I’m biased?  Maybe but I don’t think so.  He adds to the drama, to the emotion of the song.

Truly, Kingdom makes me  WANT to see the movie and see how it is used, which never happens. I only have two complaints. First, the song could be longer and Simon’s part definitely could be longer.  I didn’t get enough from his very brief appearance.  Second, I wish the song was available on its own off of iTunes.  I don’t know that I want the entire soundtrack but I would love to have a copy of this song.

What do the rest of you think?

Duran Duran News – 11/17 to 11/30

It has been two weeks since I posted a summary of what has been happening in Duranland.  I didn’t do it last week as I was busy with some out-of-state guests.  (waves at Rhonda)  Anyway, I thought I would take time this weekend to catch us all up by compiling any and all Duran Duran news in one spot!

Dom Brown Anniversary

Did you know that Dom Brown has been with the band for 10 years?!  10!  Duranduran.com celebrated this fabulous anniversary by posting a note from Dom himself.  As a big fan of the guy, Rhonda, too, posted a little blog about this important occasion.  I, for one, love the last line of his note–here is to 10 more!

November’s Collector’s Corner

This month focused on the album, Notorious.  I never knew that there were subtle differences in how the album looked in various countries or what all of the remixes for this album are.  Yet, you can find all of that information and more over on the duranduran.com’s post.  Fascinating stuff!  It definitely makes me want to be more of a collector!

A View to a Kill Extended Mix

Did you know that there was an extended mix of this song?  Apparently, there is and it just recently surfaced!  See the post on duranduran.com to read John’s quote about it and to click on the link to hear.  After that, tell us what you think about it!

Duran Shopping

‘Tis the season for a little shopping!  Duran Duran has a new calendar out this year with the focus being studio pictures.  Buy it now here and read Rhonda’s thoughts about it here.  Perhaps, you want to support a little blog you know (and hopefully love!) by shopping at our Cafe Press store.

 Patty Palazzo

If you are a paid member of DDM, I highly recommend logging in and checking out the interview with Patty Palazzo.  You can learn a lot about her history on the Duran team as well as her own designs with Punk Masters!  I look forward to seeing her new line, which is to be released in December!  After you finishing this interview, check out Rhonda’s interview of her and Lori Majewski here!

 Band Members:  Out and About

Nick and his girlfriend, Nefer, attended the Guy Bourdin image maker exhibit at the Somerset House in London last week.  Check out Duran’s Facebook page for a picture of them!

Kingdom

Have you heard the song, “Kingdom,” by Charli XCX featuring Simon Le Bon yet?  If not, it has been released and getting lots of press.  BostonHerald.com covered it here.  The Examiner covered it, too!  Empty Light House reviewed it as well!  If that wasn’t enough, ABC Radio News wrote about it, too!  Look for our thoughts about it soon!

Band-Aid Anniversary

Can you believe that Duran Duran and other pop stars met thirty years ago to record the song, Do They Know It’s Christmas?  I try not to think about it too much as it makes me feel very old!  Nonetheless, there has been lots of press about it.  I recommend starting with Rhonda’s blog about it.   Then, you definitely should read the behind-the-scenes article by Mad World author, Lori Majewski!  After that, you can check out the article on Be80s here.  Heck, even Huffington Post UK covered it here!

Gallery Update

Duranduran.com updated the band’s gallery to feature the band’s performance for the Teenage Cancer Trust benefit.

Nick’s Beauty Side Project

Nick’s latest project, Geneu, an anti-aging product was featured in the latest issue of Wallpaper Magazine!  Need a refresher about this project of Nick’s?  Check out the press release on the band’s official site.

That’s all I could find on official sites.  Did I miss something?  I am confident that I have.  If so, comment about it so that the information is included!  Thanks!

-A

Kingdom – Charlie XCX (feat Simon LeBon)

New Music!!

I’m not going to review it yet…but I wanted to make sure to get the link out to everyone who might want some new music on this lovely Thursday.

It is exactly as Simon described earlier – a fairy tale with a touch of darkness, and that darkness really IS legend.  Check it out. You’ll be glad you did.

Thank goodness for new music.

-R

Charli XCX vs. Simon LeBon

Simon talks Hunger Games and Charli XCX with Lori Majewski

If you haven’t caught the Yahoo! music news article written by none other than Mad World author and fellow Duran Duran fan Lori Majewski – you really should.

Personally, I’m looking forward to getting the song. It’s the first time in recent years that I am going to brag to my oldest that she likes an artist (Charli XCX) that collaborated with someone from MY main musical interest. Oh yes, I plan to buy that song and play it non-stop. I’m looking forward to hearing what Simon describes as dark lyrically and the nursery-rhyme melody. Sounds like a perfect fit for me!

The soundtrack is out on November 17th…just a mere 13 days away now. New music, here we come!

-R

 

Kingdom by Charli XCX (feat. Simon LeBon) out November 17!

The big news for this week: those anxious to hear Simon LeBon again (and I’m assuming that counts all Duranies) will get their chance again soon. Simon is featured on a song by Charli XCX that will be on the upcoming soundtrack for the movie, Mockingjay Part One. (Part of the Hunger Games series).

Lorde curated the soundtrack for the movie, putting together a compilation of songs with her own special stamp. She directly communicated with the artists chosen, such as Grace Jones, Miguel, The Chemical Brothers, and of course our own frontman.  Another name from the track list jumps out at me, as Bat For Lashes was at one time under the Manimal label (see the interview with the man behind Manimal Vinyl, Paul Beahan!).  It would appear that Simon is among good company, and provides an excellent chance to expose new audience to not only Simon, but also Duran Duran.

Track listing:

1) Stromae: “Meltdown” [ft. Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip, Haim]
2) Chvrches: “Dead Air”
3) Tove Lo: “Scream My Name”
4) Charli XCX: “Kingdom” [ft. Simon Le Bon]
5) Various Artists: “Track 5”
6) Raury: “Lost Souls”
7) Lorde: “Yellow Flicker Beat”
8) Tinashé: “The Leap”
9) Bat for Lashes: “Plan the Escape”
10) Grace Jones: “Original Beast”
11) Lorde: “Flicker” (Kanye West Rework)
12) XOV: “Animal”
13) The Chemical Brothers: “This Is Not a Game” [ft. Miguel]
14) Lorde: “Ladder Song”

I cannot tell a lie, I can hardly wait until November 17 so that we can hear the song and review it for the blog.  New music…two beautiful words to type this week.

-R