" Red Carpet Massacre"
Duran Duran may no longer straddle Planet Pop like a colossus with eyeliner and a wind machine but they still deliver surprises each time they release an album.
The first surprise about every new Duran Duran album for roughly the last 15 years has been that it exists at all. While most of their peers have long since drifted onto the nostalgia circuit or into day jobs, you have to give credit to Simon Le Bon and company for their refusal to call it a day and retire to a life of playing polo, punctuated by the occasional benefit reunion.
The second surprise is that, despite my soft bigotry of low expectations, they nearly always produce something that is pretty good in places.
"Red Carpet Massacre,"has a good few of those places.
" Night Runner" is a piece of subtly vicious funk that, tossed off by Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, admittedly seems almost devoid of Duran Duran’s fingerprints. But "The Valley"marries gothic guitars to the theme tune from Knight Rider generating a brittle electro-pop that, layered with Le Bon’s distinctive vocals, is pure Duran. So far so upbeat, but the band’s efforts to drag you back to the dance floor with them one more time are balanced by more introspective moments as on the single "Falling Down,"where Le Bon howls at the wind and pleads for, "someone out there to help me."
And it seems Timbaland and Timberlake have. But this is by no means a takeover. There is enough here that is familiar, yet warped to promising effect, to hint that Duran Duran still aren’t going away, and may well have some more surprises in them.
- Adam Corrigan
Courtesy Bangor Maine Daily News