Release Date: Mar 22, 2011
Record label: S-Curve Records
Duran's Mark Ronson-produced 13th disc is a return to roots for a band that's all implants — which is part of the album's charm. "Being Followed" and the tawdry "Runway Runaway" are every bit the chic Riviera rock of Duran's 1980s classics, and the years have added posh-boy crankiness to Simon Le Bon's lyrics: "I should've known when I bought into the dream," he moans like the Miss Havisham of New Romantic overkill. It's the kind of empty thought that makes this record a hoot.
For over a year, Duran Duran and producer Mark Ronson have compared the recording of the music that is about to hit iTunes as All You Need Is Now to the band’s early ‘80s output. Whether they’ve done the job really depends upon how you interpret all that pre-game prattle. But more on that in a moment, because when a band’s been around for more than 30 years, a little perspective can go a very long way.
Duran superfan Mark Ronson's goal when producing their 13th album was to make the imaginary followup to 1982's Rio, when they wrote enormo-hits and hung out on expensive yachts. Given that the Brummies are now in their 50s and have made some very clunky albums, this seems absurd. However, they have unearthed their missing mojo. Ronson has sprinkled guests like Kelis and Ana Matronic over his postmodern sheen, but the surprise is the quality of the songwriting.
While many of their '80s pin-up peers have faded into dead-behind-the-eyes nostalgia bids, Duran Duran have inexplicably survived. For a band so steeped in dated Thatcherite nostalgia -- yachting, skirt-chasing MTV superstars with perfectly fluffed hair and a taste for the exotic -- it's a wonder they even made it to 1990, but they're nothing if not stubborn. Even as the glory days of "The Reflex" faded away, even as the screaming teens grew up and the critics grew tired, the Fab Five (or whoever's replaced one of the Taylors over the years) remained ambitious.
After an aeon in the wilderness, punctuated by acts of sheer imbecility such as covering [a]Public Enemy[/a]’s [b]‘911 Is A Joke’[/b], somehow, miraculously, new romantic godfathers the Duranies are back with their strongest album since 1983’s [b]‘Seven And The Ragged Tiger’[/b]. Producer [a]Mark Ronson[/a] does an astounding job of taking them back to the [b]‘Fab Five’[/b] glory days of [b]‘Rio’[/b]: [b]‘Being Followed’[/b] and [b]‘Leave A Light On’[/b] are the sonic equivalent of a shoeless walk in a pastel linen suit and Princess Di haircut along a tropical beach. Elsewhere, the four-fifths-complete line-up revisits the new romantic Blitz Club funk of their debut album on [b]‘Safe (In The Heat Of The Moment)’[/b] and [b]‘Girl Panic!’[/b].
Duran Duran and producer Mark Ronson envisioned the 2011 release All You Need Is Now as a sequel to the band’s 1982 effort Rio, but fans are better off approaching it as the imaginary effort that came after 1983’s Seven and the Ragged Tiger. Follow their analogy, and this should sound like a band that just created a new wave icon, but here there’s an enthusiasm and sense of purpose that can only come from an act less cocksure than one that is on top. To his credit, Ronson was pretty near the top at the time of the album’s release, but his inspired work on All You Need is driven by both hero worship and a previously underappreciated talent to do what’s right by the artist.
DURAN DURAN play the Phoenix April 25. See listing. Rating: NN On Duran Duran's 13th album, there's some fun, new wave excess reminiscent of their heyday. But with few of the big choruses that made the old songs so appealing, there's not much to hold your attention on repeat listens.. Producer Mark ….
The best Duran Duran album for 18 years. Tom Hocknell 2011 Following massive early success, ego-fuelled side projects, line-up changes and yachting accidents, Duran Duran completed the full rock career trajectory in 1993 with a triumphant comeback. The Ordinary World single and its parent album rekindled public affection and critical acclaim for a band most had consigned to nostalgia shows.