Tracklisting: 1. All You Need Is Now 2. Blame The Machines 3. Being Followed 4. Leave A Light On 5. Safe (in the heat of the moment) 6. Girl Panic! 7. A Diamond In The Mind 8. The Man Who Stole A Leopard 9. Other Peoples Lives 10. Mediterranea 11. Too Bad You're So Beautiful 12. Runway Runaway 13. Return To Now 14. Before The Rain
Record Company: Tape Modern
Release Date: Monday 21st March 2011
Buy it now: Amazon
Ok. We'll admit it. We loved the 80s and the re-emergence of the bands that made this era unforgettable. Like Duran Duran, when they brought out Rio back in 1982. Fast forward to 2011 and the band are set to release their 13th album to date entitled All You Need Is Now.
With longtime fan Mark Ronson at the producer's helm, you know this is going to be a very special album. The question is, will it live up to the much anticipated hype ? States Ronson, "I want to make the imaginary follow-up to Rio; the album that was never made." A bold claim indeed and upon first listening to the album, its hard not to see this album as a successor to that fateful album from 1982.
The "classic" Duran Duran sound is there, whether its Simon Le Bon's soaring voice, Nick Rhodes keyboard layerings or the familiar bass and drum combo of John and Roger Taylor. Its a re-energized quartet that really deliver some great songs on this album that will make die hard fans a bit misty eyed.
Title and opening track All You Need Is Now is a good example of this. With blaring synth sounds, pulsing bass beats and Simon Le Bon's familiar voice in good form, the song oozes sex appeal right from the word go. So too Being Followed, a real catchy number that really feels like the quartet have re-discovered their mojo. The guitars really have that twanginess missing in previous albums.
There's an almost effortless feel to these songs as Leave A Light On suggests. The breezy track isn't overly complicated or overproduced, and Simon Le Bon's voice is allowed to really shine on this track.
If there's a contemporary feel to the album, then it comes with Safe with a bassline that sounds a lot like something from The Killers (and also features Scissor Sisters Ana Matronic providing a rap) whilst the heavy synth of Girl Panic! is underpinned by its really dancey drum track, one of the hallmarks of the band.
We really liked Mediterranea, a slow tempo'ed but catchy piece with more soaring Le Bon vocals and Runaway Runaway, which is instantly danceable and catchy as only Duran Duran can do. There aren't any really dud tracks on this album but there are a few filler instrumentals such as A Diamond In The Mind and Return To Now, with both providing very atmospheric soundtrack like introductions for the songs succeeding them. It the only slight veering off plan on the album from their trademark sound and if there's something we have to say, its how consistent the classic sound is on this album. It really feels like the band have jumped into a time capsule and emerged in 1983, right after the release of Rio.
This album is nothing short of a masterpiece and a celebrated return to form for Duran Duran. It may be their 13th album but it sounds like it was their third. That unmistakeable Duran Duran sound is back, something that has been missing from the last few efforts and a lot of credit has to go to producer Mark Ronson for helping the band rediscover their signature sound again. They haven't sounded this refreshing in years and with a slew of instantly accessible songs, its hard to pick a highlight track but we'd have to say Girl Panic!, Runaway Runaway, Mediterranea and Being Followed jump out at us.
Longtime fans can rejoice. Duran Duran are back to their brilliant best. Amen.