Duran Duran, “Future Past”: album review

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Duran Duran has spent the last decade catching up with his legacy. The 2000s were a time of rebalancing, populated by albums that bore the traces of old Duran Duran but were ultimately just worn out fakes of the sound that made them world stars 40 years ago.

With the 2011 All you need is now, the group, with the help of blockbuster Mark Ronson, entered a new decade with the kind of glittering artifice they perfected on classic albums from the early ’80s as their debuts and Rio. Their latest album, 2015’s Paper gods, relied a little too much on guest collaborators: John Frusciante, Lindsay Lohan, Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers all stepped in for a photo.

Their 15th record, Future Past, also has outside help – pioneering disco producer Giorgio Moroder, Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, Japanese dance punks Chai and a returning Ronson can be found among the credits. But their presence doesn’t dominate songs like Paper gods‘the guests did. Instead, they help remind Duran Duran of their past.

The opener “Invisible”, with its powerful synths and scintillating backing vocals, recalls the group’s heyday of the ’80s, right down to the catchy chorus and familiar moan of Simon Le Bon. “All of You” moves along the same melodic lines as any number of hit songs found on the Duran Duran compilations; The same goes for the thrilling “Anniversary”, a self-referential, mythological dance floor shaker that includes lyrical nods to “Hungry Like the Wolf”, “Union of the Snake” and other singles. past.

This does not mean Future Past is to rub shoulders with their reputation. This album title looks to the future as much as it looks back, and the music itself also aims to combine those moments in time. (The final set of songs are more forward-looking than almost everything else on the album.) But Duran Duran is at his best here when they’re not trying to escape their legacy – like the way ” Tonight United “embraces the rebound of the new wave. of “Planet Earth” for yet another decade. Kiss it, guys. You have earned this right.

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