Tuesday, December 21, 2010

"All You Need Is Now"? I think that's true

I've never been objective when it comes to Duran Duran. Even with their most critically panned albums, I have found a song — or three — to love on each. (Check out "Serious" or "My Antarctica" on "Liberty," or "Perfect Day" on "Thank You.") Therefore, you can take what I have to say next with a grain of salt, but please note this regarding the band's latest release, "All You Need Is Now":

You are missing out if you do not listen to this record now.

If you are familiar with early DD hits such as "Rio" or "Planet Earth," this is the record that will reunite you with those sounds of yore. The drum intro on "Girl Panic!" smacks of "Girls of Film." "Leave a Light On" is the distant cousin of "Save a Prayer." The buoyant melody of "Runway Runaway" is reminiscent of "Last Chance on the Stairway," the seventh song on 1982's "Rio," and the panicky vocal harmonies at the end of "Being Followed" harken to almost anything on their 1983 album "Seven and the Ragged Tiger." "The Man Who Stole a Leopard," which features a haunting cameo from Kelis, borrows from the seductive build of "Tel Aviv" (the closer on the first album) and incorporates plenty of synth-violin stabs a la "My Own Way," the second song on "Rio." And like "Rio" 28 years before, "All You Need Is Now" ends on a sparse, shuffling note. "Before the Rain" is "The Chauffeur," 2010 style.

In the end, this record, produced by self-proclaimed Duranie Mark Ronson, is a love note to DD fans who have hoped the band could capture some of that youthful magic in a bottle and bring it into the new millennium.

The only thing missing on "All You Need Is Now"? A few good measures of saxophone.