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.

Speak Your Mind