In the last sentence of this review I will state, without blinking, that All You Need Is Now is not only one of Duran Duran’s best albums to date, but also an album that can easily compete with the majority of recent synthpop releases. Let me stress that I am not a fan of the eighties band around Simon Le Bon. In the early eighties the poseurs of Duran Duran made two fine albums. Next year will see the 30th Anniversary of Rio, the bands undisputed masterpiece. Since then everything the band has been recording has been mediocre or worse. I’ve lost track of Duran Duran since 1993s self titled album (subscript: The Wedding Album), which had it’s moment. Going on the reviews of later albums I haven’t been missing out on much.
All You Need Is Now, however, has got all the makings of a come back album. Producer Mark Ronson must be at least partly responsible. If you are able to produce a classic soul record with a heavily sedated and intoxicated Amy Winehouse, then revitalizing Simon Le Bon and his middle-aged associates must be within your possibilities. From Duran Duran’s point of view hiring Ronson was probably just another desperate attempt to sound contemporary, but fortunately for the band (and the listener) Ronson understand that the only way for Duran Duran to ever sound hip again is to return to the sound from the time when they themselves were the ones who determined what was hip. Ronson adds some youthful zest and the result is extremely successful. All You Need Is Now is not trying to be a remake of Rio but more like a worthy successor to Rio. You won’t find be advocating the musical importance of a band that manages to produce three decent albums in as many decades, but the fact is that All You Need Is Now is bulging with excellent pop songs. Perhaps it is a retro album, but if this is what is takes to make Duran Duran sounds fresh again, then who’s complaining? So there goes: All You Need Is Now is not only one of Duran Duran’s best albums to date, but also an album that can easily compete with the majority of recent synthpop releases.
This contribution was also posted on dekrentenuitdepop.blogspot.com
Duran Duran will play at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague on the 11th of June.