People Magazine Review (3.5 Stars Out of 4!)

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Duran Duran ASTRONAUT
Reviewed by Chuck Arnold
POP
It had been 21 years and countless cases of hairspray since the original members of Duran Duran - Simon LeBon (lead vocals), Andy Taylor (guitar), John Taylor (bass), Roger Taylor (drums) and Nick Rhodes (keyboards) - released their last studio album together, 1983's SEVEN AND THE RAGGED TIGER. But the big-haired lineup that gave us such '80s synth-pop hits as "Girls on Film," "Hungry like the Wolf" and "Rio" has reunited for ASTRONAUT, which finds the group taking creative flight again. You can hear that old sparkle back in the Wild Boys on the shining first single, "(Reach Up for the) Sunrise," which features a fitting lyric about new beginnings: "Reach up for the sunrise/Put your hands into the big sky/You can touch the sunrise/Feel the new day enter your life." Musically, though, this isn't so much of a new day for Duran Duran as a fun nostalgia trip back to the band's '80s heyday. The title track (one of three cuts coproduced by R&B hitmaker Dallas Austin) is pure new-wave bliss, complete with spacey electronic effects, and the slinky "Bedroom Toys" revisits the pop-funk of "Union of the Snake." They also collaborate with Chic's Nile Rodgers on "Point of No Return" before closing with the atmospheric "Still Breathing," which shows that there is still a lot of life left in Duran Duran. 3.5 stars >Download This: "Astronaut"

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