Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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    Duran Duran’s Future Past album review: As nostalgic as it is visionary

    Duran Duran. photo credit: facebook/@Duran DuranDuran Duran. photo credit: facebook/@Duran Duran

    Forty years after their famous “New Romantics” sobriquet, 1980s Brit post-rock new wave legend Duran Duran was anything but new in a decidedly young roster of postmillennial artists at the Billboard Music Awards in May this year. That didn’t stop them from putting together one of the most spectacular fairs of the evening; Duran Duran’s way to silence critics and skeptics alike about his relevance today, while reminding us all that he still has a lot to offer.

    Between their two classic hits (‘Notorious’ and ‘Hungry Like the Wolf’), the band squeezed in their new single ‘Invisible’, offering young musicians a masterclass in how they sounded like in previous decades. , Find your roots in sound experimentation which exemplifies Duran Duran’s career.

    Considering that ‘Invisible’ was the first single to be released from the album Future Past, it seemed like a good teaser for what the band had to offer, even if it honestly fell short of the band’s skills to be a booming cheerleader. . The release of Future Past on October 22 highlights that ‘Invisible’ is a good song, but they didn’t choose a more heavy song to serve the purpose of conveying that you want to look even more for an album. could.

    But Future Past has much more than a collection of excellent, anthemic, bold songs that compel you to dance and end up on a couch with a drink and a major dose of involuntary retrospect.

    After the debacle of the Paper Gods, Duran Duran managed to create an album that would sing for his most ardent fans, while also keeping the sounds open to new, shorter interpretations. The “Duran Duran Sound” has been hard to pin down given their penchant for dubbing with genres and collaborating with artists to create mixed cultures. In fact, The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers often talks about the band’s influence in their music and what it is that their synth sounds remain – quite ironically – timeless.

    Their post-punk vibe is seen in the band’s strong rhythm section, which includes John Taylor on bass and Roger Taylor on drums, giving Duran Duran’s songs a resonant identity that’s hard to articulate. Topped with Simon Le Bon’s sublime vocals and Nick Rhodes’ unmistakable keyboard brush, Duran Duran has carved a niche for itself for four decades as an experimental, strong quintet that commands respect for its songwriting. And refuses to be typecast.

    Long before other bands featured collaborations on their albums, Duran Duran made it part of his calling card. Today from Coldplay to Tom Morello, everyone who has released an album this year easily credited three or more collaborators.

    A common thread in Future Past is Blur’s guitarist Graham Coxon. On the second track, ‘All of You’ (which should have actually been the lead single for the album), a funky solo bass riff kicks off the proceedings before Roger Taylor’s thumps in drums and Nick Rhodes follow along with a trippy keyboard line. Is. Horoscope. Coxon is decisively on his own but it’s Simon Le Bon’s vocals that give you a sense of how good (or not) his voice is. Sure, there’s a lot of technology out there to help you get your voice right, but you know Simon Le Bon’s clear wood and vocals when you hear it and it takes you back to the 1980s.

    Disco’s father, Giorgio Moroder, has also collaborated with Duran Duran on two songs. “Beautiful Lies” begins ABBAesque, with typical keyboard work from Moroder himself, before taking on a deeper, more foreboding tone. They continue their collaboration with ‘Tonight United’, where John Taylor has bass leading the song with hard-to-shake-off grooves and a solo flourish to boot. Moroder’s work on Future Past sounds good, but not exceptional, while Coxon is undermined.

    Not every featured artist contributed well to the album. ‘Hammerhead’ is a typical Duran Duran song, unless it gets rapped unnecessarily. We are all for his experiments; We always have been. This is what is expected of us being fans of Duran Duran. But the rap is so compelling, it’s even beyond Duran Duran standards.

    One song that elevates the album is the fitting ending that David Bowie gives pianist Mike Garson ‘Falling’. Lilting Piano’s opening leads to a soft rock ballad before Garson decides he’ll jazz things up at the very end.

    The 12-song album packs in a range of permutations and combinations in punk, funk, electronica, rock and ambient styles that are as nostalgic as they are visionary. The title — like Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories — sets you up for a strong connect with the past, while reminding you that the music and bands are looking forward. What we don’t realize is how nostalgic we’ll feel, and how perfect it feels that Duran Duran is set to transport us to a future where synth has gravity. At a time when Kylie Minogue is back in the disco era and dance legend ABBA is making a comeback, Duran Duran’s voice is still familiar but unique.

    They may have been the forerunners of the New Wave movement of the early 1980s, but with Future Past they are turning to a revival of New Age retro.

    Rating: 3.5/5

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