In Review: Breath After Breath

It’s Monday after what was a very busy weekend for Amanda and I. We need to take a breath…and here we are, reviewing Breath After Breath (Corny segue?? You bet it was!!)

Written by Duran Duran and Milton Nascimento, this song with a distinct Latin rhythm and feel features a ballad-y lyric sung in English by Simon, acoustic guitar, and Portuguese vocals sung by Nascimento. Breath After Breath was a single, released only in Brazil.



Breath after breath
Ama! (Love!)
Breath after breath
Danca! (Dance!)
Every day I wake up in this room,
And I don’t know know,
Where I’ve come from, where I’m going to
Then I here the voice..

Senhora musa da paz (Lady muse of peace)
Me abraca, me carrega no teu andor
(Hold me, caress me in your pedestal
ie. from your pedestal come down and
hold me, caress me
Dormir no colo dar dor (Sleep in the arms of pain)
Amiga, arrasa! (Friend, devistate! ie. friend, you
devistate me you bewilder me
A tua mao desenhov O sonho na acela
(Your hand drew the dream in the sand)
Agora, entrega de vez meu rumo, e vida
(Now give me my destiny once and for
all, and life

From where I stand, the truth isn’t black and white,
Alone we live and die, we love and fight,
Breath after breath, we carry this mortal coil,
Safe for tomorrow.

Do I dare, O do I dare,
Follow through the footsteps my whole body hears?,
Beating on my heart like a feather
Beating of a moment til I disappear.

Diga uma palaura alegre (Say a happy word, something happy)
Manda um recado que seja agora (Send a message that is new)
Faz o mundo ficar novo
E dancar no colodo tal de amor (Make a new world and dance in the arms
of love

From where I stand, the truth isn’t black and white,
Alone we live and die, we love and fight,
Breath after breath, we carry this mortal coil,
Safe for tomorrow.

Circles of sand are washed out into the sea,
Just as we slip on through to eternity
Breath after breath we carry this mortal coil,
Safe for tomorrowDiga uma palaura, cara (Say a word (something), dear)
Bem alegre (Very happy)
Corre, manda logo um recado (Run, send me a message)
Me abraca, Faz um clima doce (Embrace me, make the weather pleasant)
Me arrepia! Chega de sufocol! (You give me goose bumps, no more
Me poe lovro! Me faz diamente
Teu amante (You drive me crazy! Make me diamonds
of your love
Danca do somo do rento,
Me ensina (Dance to the sound of the wind,
teach me
Basta de sufoco, Nao faz jogo (Stop the struggle, don’t play games
with me

A flame of love is burning
The song is of the planets
oh whoooooooo
The dance is to the rhythm, of the rain
Where everyone is coming from, is coming to
And birth is just a breath after breath.


This is a situation for me where, whenever I hear this song, I immediately think of the video, shot alongside the Iguazu Falls (largest waterfalls in the world) on the border of Argentina and Brazil. The warmth of the acoustic guitar, the breezy, fluid, synthesizer and keyboards, and the most beautiful lines of lyric almost force me to stop and take a cleansing breath. I need one, too. I think of that waterfall, something I’ve never seen in person before, and almost feel like I’ve been whoooshed (yes, WHOOOSHED) away on a 3-minute vacation. Again, I need one.

I am a big fan of acoustic guitar, and that warm Latin edge really gives the song – a ballad in it’s own right – some teeth. It takes what could have easily been a mushy sort of song without the right melody attached, and gives it both, with just the right texture. Then, the song slides into the chorus. I especially love what they did with the production, using just enough echo and bringing up the synth chords as the acoustic guitar line ends. This has the effect of highlighting the chorus in a very different way from other Duran Duran songs. It is a wonderful example of how Duran Duran matured in their writing, recording and production.

While the guitar is a highlight for me, I want to be sure to acknowledge that the song is well-balanced. The bass, while perhaps not at the front of the mix, is there and supports the melody, and the percussion is another high point in the song, with Vinnie Colaiuta and Bosco on drums and percussion, adding just the right Latin touches. Breath After Breath was a song that I don’t know I fully appreciated when The Wedding Album was initially released, but as the years have worn on, I’ve found it to be one of the brightest highlights in their catalog.

five cocktails…and a vacation!


After reviewing Come Undone last week in which I was not necessarily excited to write about, I am way more thrilled about this one. To me, this is an extremely unique song for Duran Duran. I literally cannot think of another one that is like it, musically, lyrically and vocally. Yes, there might be some elements that appear elsewhere but there is so much that is different that it needs to be acknowledged as such. On top of that, the combination is so wonderful that the only word that comes to mind to adequately or sort of adequately describe is beautiful. Yes, there are other Duran songs in which that adjective might apply but none quite as beautiful as this one.

Musically, there is a very different feel to it than what we are used to. Rhonda mentioned the Latin vibe and I have to agree completely. That alone takes it away from the usual Duran instrumentation. While I’m sure that Duran has been influenced by other cultures and their music, I cannot think of a song in which that influence is so keenly felt and heard. In my opinion, it isn’t just the instrumentation but also the production. As I listen to this song, it feels soft, like everything has been turned down low. It isn’t about being loud or having one instrument take the spotlight, even though the instrumentation does shine. It feels almost egoless and creates a floating feeling like the song is taking you away from whatever and wherever you are. Again, the word that comes to mind is beautiful.

Like the song’s musicality, the vocals and lyrics add to that serenity. I admire the fact that they chose to include not only the guest vocalist, which is so often very cool, but he is one who added words and vocals in Portuguese. As a listener, it forces me to stop and listen. Am I hearing what I think I’m hearing? Yet, at the same time, even without knowing the words or the meaning of those lyrics in Portuguese, I feel deeply the emotions that seem to be conveyed. It sends a message that music really is something universal and can bring all people together. Of course, the lyrics do an absolutely amazing job of this as well by reminding us all of the common experience of being alive, being human. While including the mentions of death could be considered morose, it is a wonderful reminder to appreciate life. My goodness, is there a better lyric than the chorus, I ask rhetorically. My heart is full each and every time I listen to it.

As a kid, when I first heard this song, I dismissed it as weird. I didn’t get it. Maybe part of it was my backwards, but so common belief, that I and everyone else would live forever. Now, I get it. I understand what they were trying to say, what they wanted us to feel and appreciate. This is one of those songs that make me angry when critics and people dismiss Duran as a band with a meaningless pop songs. This song proves the exact opposite. It shows the band’s depth on every level and their courage to take on a song so different. I cannot find fault with any aspect of it.

5 cocktails!

By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.

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