Duran Duran / All You Need Is Now


All You Need Is NowAll You Need Is Now is the thirteenth studio album by the British pop/rock band Duran Duran. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Mark Ronson, a truncated version of the album was released as a download on 21 December 2010. It is the band’s first album not released by a major record label; it appeared on the band’s own label, Tapemodern, and Mark Ronson’s Allido Records in the UK. A physical package was released on March 21, 2011 in Europe on the Tape Modern label (distributed by Edel[1]), and on March 22, 2011 in the USA and Canada on S-Curve Records (distributed by Universal),[2] coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the band’s first release. According to Hits Daily Double, the physical release moved 14,642 units in its opening week. [1] Duran Duran are currently promoting the album through the All You Need Is Now Tour.

The Analysis:

All You Need Is Now—-Taking a huge step back into the classic days of the 80’s……peppered with the brilliant production of Ronson and bolstered by Simon Le Bon sounding better than he has in years, the kick off to this release is simply brilliant. I smile every single time i hear this…it is both retro and a step ahead in the new direction of music….simply fantastic!

Blame The Machines—-This begins with a huge retro beat that takes you back to the glory days of this band…do any of you remember when Duran Duran was the biggest band in the world? This is the sound that propelled them to that status…this is reminiscent of that great sound. The vocal overlays are fantastic and the updated technology allows them to sound even more important….this is great!!!

Being Followed—-Carrying a much more typical Ronson sound at the onset of the song, this track quickly falls back into the sound of a OO7 track with an edge that makes you think of an action film. the classic Duran sounding guitar finally emerges and you realize that this band has never gone anywhere. the Ronson touch gives to track a bit of an Euro-Trash sound that makes me smile!!!

Leave A Light On—-Duran Duran was always masterful at delivering a heartfelt ballad in the mix of all the electro driven sound of the 80’s….this song is no exception…it falls perfectly in the ballad catalog. Le Bon delivers a vocal that is a bit deeper and more sedate…but the emotion magically comes through in his voice…this is classic!

Safe [In The Heat Of The Moment]—-This track seems to borrow bits and pieces from every Duran song that managed to crack the top ten and adds a bit more with the Ronson tweak. Le Bon still delivers a vocal that belies his age, and the slight funk of the band is in full swing with the backdrop of female vocalist…..giving the song a nice lift. This is great!

Girl Panic!—-Again, the band returns to the sound of it’s very first LP with what seems like little effort. The guitar is in full swing…Duran always had a very particular guitar sound and it never seems to have left…just got lost for a bit. this is old school 80’s New Wave with the new Ronson touch…why was this not huge? Oh, I forgot….duran is not cool anymore…I still love it!

A Diamond In The Mind—-Much darker from the onset, Ronson seems to add layers and layers on instrumentation to the song…picking a few snippets from the intro track…this is a brilliant interlude…I am floored with this built-in remix!

The Man Who Stole A Leopard—-Slow to begin with, the song never really goes to far for me. This is too soon for another predictable and somewhat boring ballad…there is too much of a morose sound to the song…although there are some bright spots mired throughout…if you have the patience to sit through it.

Other People’s Lives—-Wow…..the onset of the track reminds me of DEVO!!!! As soon as Simon opens his mouth and the familiar Taylor guitar sound begins to surface, you are transported right back to 1983. This is a really cool updated retro sound for this band….I am not disappointed with this…in fact I love it!

Mediterranea—-Another slowed tempo track that is a surprise to me…this soon. But the saving grace are the layers of sound that allow this to remind me of classic Duran Ballads once again….Le Bon sings in that upper strained register of his…reminding me that he is still the King Of Drama…..this is full of drama, and memories…this should have been the sequel to the very first record!

Too Bad You’re So Beautiful—-Once more, the magic direction of Ronson seems like a permission slip for Duran to step way back in time and take us on another retro trip. this is fantastic…reminding me of Rio and Girls On Film at the same time…this has an overt sexual overtone and a magical classic return trip to a decade that is looked upon with scorn….this is brilliant!

Runaway Runaway—-This track is rather generic for me…although the classic guitar sound really shines through the mix of the song and Simon sounds rather fantastic. The track just lacks a substance for me…otherwise it is pretty …well…..Duran Duran……LOL!

Return To Now—-Just Brilliant….this orchestrated version of All You Need Is now is even more emotive with instrumentation and no vocals…a fantastic interlude!!!!

Before The Rain—-Ending this release with another ballad, Simon sounds forlorn and sad and full of emotion…perhaps telling a story of the past decade to us out loud. This is sedate and without pretension…this is heartfelt and touching……a fantastic way to end this release!

**** out of 5

 

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