Duran Duran – “All You Need Is Now”.

I was pleasantly surprised to note the considered nodding and pleased raising of the communal eyebrows from the British music world that greeted the new Duran Duran album. So the level of circumspection that I sat down to listen to it with was considerably lower than it might have been. Or ought to have been. What on earth were they thinking? And in what way does this qualify as “new”?

The eponymous opening track spends its entire duration trying to segue into Hungry Like A Wolf. While Leave A Light On wistfully channels Save A Prayer. And then there are the lyrics. Nothing quite as memorable here as “Don’t say you’re easy on me, you’re about as easy as a nuclear war”, but Being Followed has the weighty, “I dream things I don’t want you to know.” Ah, so that’s what happens in dreams.

It’s not merely that it’s rooted so irresolutely in the 80s that you confidently expect Michael J. Fox to pull up in a DeLorean any moment now. It’s not even the fact that they’ve turned into their own tribute band. It’s more the sense that there was nothing worth consecrating in the first place. The Beach Boys this aint. Listening to a Duran Duran track was like having a cigarette, or eating an entire box of chocolates. You got an instant hit, and then felt bad about yourself for hours, and even days. It still is.

So what on earth were those savvy, cynical sensible musos thinking? Maybe it’s the David Lynch connection. Lynch after all directed the live webcast of their Los Angeles gig in March (http://www.youtube.com/user/DuranDuranVEVO). But the only thing you need to know about how that came about is the fact that it was lavishly sponsored by American Express. Like us all, the man has bills.

Maybe it’s just the Mozart effect. Perhaps the coiffured posturings of the boys from Birmingham was what their canoodling parents were listening to, as they were about to become a glint in their eyes, circa 1985. And here they are, a generation later, giving a bizarre thumbs up to this ohsotedious album of utter tosh. Avoid.

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