Duran Duran have long relied on black music icons to lend their music a sophisticated edge (Nile Rodgers, for one, proved crucial to Notorious). But the role of Timbaland here is more problematic. The Durannies are nearing their dotage, while the hip hop visionary behind the desk speaks directly to Generation Ringtone. The marriage is certainly daring but bears little melodic fruit. Between the odd pretty guitar motif ('She's Too Much') and marching drum roll ('The Valley') the pile-driving beatwork and rapping cameos only highlight the fact that the weakest element here is Duran themselves.
Paul Flynn is the author of Good As You: 30 Years of Gay Britain