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 Ronson adds all the bells and whistles, including frequent use of an unnecessary phaser effect on Simon LeBon’s voice. There’s nothing here that will draw in new, young fans, and seasoned listeners won’t likely appreciate the altering of one of the band’s key elements.
About half of the 14 songs (the digital release has nine) bear an uncanny resemblance to past hits. Leave A Light On, for example, sounds an awful lot like the Rio-era ballad Save A Prayer. Unfortunately, these doppelgängers are the album’s best songs, which makes you wonder why the band bothered.
Top track: Before The Rain