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Duran Duran - All You Need Is Now

2011-04-11 13:38
When producer Mark Ronson began working with Duran Duran on All You Need Is Now, he reportedly challenged the '80s pop veterans to revisit the sound of their formative musical years and conjure up a follow-up to the band's 1982 hit-spawning album Rio.

And on most of the new album's 14-tracks - five more than in the iTunes-only release in December - the musical DNA of the British group's early sound is hard to miss.

This gives All You Need Is Now a familiar quality, like you've heard some of this music before. A rhythm here, a vocal melody there.

On the funky "Girl Panic!", the percussion recalls the group's classic "The Reflex" while on the moody ballad "Leave A Light On" the synths may bring to mind another seminal Duran Duran song, "Save A Prayer".

Of course, when you've been putting out records for more than three decades, it's not easy to cover up your musical tendencies.

Duran Duran appeared to try to do just that in its prior studio effort, 2007s Red Carpet Massacre, enlisting contemporary pop music heavyweights Timbaland and Justin Timberlake.

By comparison, All You Need Is Now is less preoccupied with dressing up Duran Duran's sound in new threads than in dusting off the old garb that made frontman Simon LeBon, keyboardist Nick Rhodes, drummer Roger Taylor and bassist John Taylor pop superstars 30 years ago.

For All You Need Is Now LeBon and co are once again without the services of founding guitarist Andy Taylor, who joined the band for 2004's Astronaut but then left the band two years later.

The album overflows with Duran Duran's other sonic staples: Lush synths layered over driving, dance-floor ready bass lines; disco-inspired percussion, frequently accented with Latin beats; and high-flying, moody vocals and harmonies.

A welcome return to their formative years.
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