"It's like the Mamas & the Papas meets Kraftwerk." This line, more baffling than a lyric like "Shake up the picture, the lizard mixture, with your dance on the eventide," is how Simon LeBon described Astronaut to Rolling Stone. If it was meant to lower expectations of the first Duran Duran album to feature the Fab Five (meaning LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and the trio of unrelated Taylors) since Seven and the Ragged Tiger, it worked. Astronaut, rest assured, sounds nothing like that match made in hell.
Duran Duran are daft. They were always daft; it's just that their daftness achieved a kind of flamboyant grandeur in the context of 1980s pop and the early years of MTV, when they specialised in the kind of vapid excess the decade demanded. But they have been making cruddy albums for years now, and the return of the Taylor boys for a hysterically received reunion tour has done nothing to change that.