Considering how many bands owe at least part of their career to Duran Duran and their well-crafted combination of new wave, funk and rock, why shouldn't the Durans revisit their own work as well?
On "All You Need Is Now" (Skin Traders), the band teams up with producer Mark Ronson, a self-proclaimed Durannie who calls the new album the stylistic follow-up to the band's smash "Rio." Though it doesn't quite live up to that kind of hype, it's certainly far better than "Red Carpet Massacre," the band's misguided collaboration with Timbaland.
There is a "Hungry Like the Wolf"-era feel to the fantastic "Girl Panic," the catchiest Duran song since "Come Undone" nearly two decades ago. On top of Simon LeBon's still-stylish delivery and John Taylor's distinctive bass groove, they drop Nick Rhodes' synthesizer bursts and a Roger Taylor drum breakdown that sounds like an homage to "Rio."
The smooth disco groove of "Safe," with Scissor Sister Ana Matronic, feels like a cousin to the band's '80s classics, while the ballad "Leave a Light On" could be a new-millennium "Save a Prayer."
The Durans are at their best, though, when they continue to push the envelope, as they do on the delightfully weird synth epic "The Man Who Stole a Leopard." It's a sign that, while Duran Duran is looking back, its best could still be ahead.
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"All You Need Is Now"
BOTTOM LINE Reunion of the snake? New-new moon on Monday? The Durans look back to move forward.