Duran Duran Regains Pop Fame With 'Massacre'

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Duran Duran Regains Pop Fame With 'Massacre'
CD Review
Rebecca Richardson

When news of a new Duran Duran album breaks, one can't help but wonder if the men who wrote "Hungry Like the Wolf" can really cut it in the current music scene. "Red Carpet Massacre" proves that they can.

Simon LeBon, lead singer and primary songwriter of Duran Duran, has managed to deliver a youthful CD with several potential hit singles. One such song is "Falling Down," which was produced by and features Justin Timberlake. This smooth, plaintive track is definitely a head-bobbing, sing-along type of pop song with great radio potential. Another single that could become a commercial success is the song "Nite Runner," featuring both vocal and production credits for Timberlake, as well as Timbaland. This song is funkier than "Falling Down," featuring a very sexy but classy vibe to it.

While these songs will most likely end up as radio hits, the album has several other great songs to offer the listener. "Tempted" has strong club and remix potential due to its electronic feel. Another song worth listening to is "Box Full O' Honey." This song starts out with the acoustic guitar and manages to have a more "indie" feel to it than one might expect off a Duran Duran album. Even the title track, "Red Carpet Massacre," has an edgy quality to it and a beat that begs to be clapped along with.

One of the most impressive things about this CD is how modern it feels. Most people who have heard of Duran Duran remember them from the days of big hair and songs like "Rio," "Girls on Film" and the always-classic, if slightly-creepy, sex anthem, "Hungry Like the Wolf." However, these new songs are light years away from synthesizers and shoulder pads. For example, the first track, "The Valley," feels remarkably fresh and upbeat. It has some serious sing-along-while-driving potential. Check out other tracks like "Zoom In" and "She's Too Much," for more proof of how well Duran Duran have managed to stay true to their unique sound without fighting the changing times.

Overall, it is hard not to like this CD. It is fine to have reservations regarding how a musical giant of the 1980s could possibly transition into the current market. However, Duran Duran dispels all fears with this edgy but polished pop record. From the first track to the last, the catchy hooks (thanks to production help from Timberlake and Timbaland, no doubt) and the flirty but meaningful lyrics of LeBon will keep the listener bobbing their head and singing along. While Duran Duran may not appeal to everyone, it is worth picking up, even if just to see one of the few examples of a band who refuses to be left behind.

Courtesy U Conn Daily Campus