Duran Duran: Paper Gods review – synth-pop survivors still bouncing

(Warner Bros)

Many an established act dreams of managing to sound contemporary and relevant without losing their sound and identity. Thus, Duran Duran’s 14th album pairs in-vogue producers (Mark Ronson, Mr Hudson and revitalised old collaborator Nile Rodgers) with special guests, from Janelle Monae to ex-Chili Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante, to bring some electro bounce. Last Night in the City flirts with EDM, while the dippiest moment combines a Lindsay Lohan narrative with a rather clunky rhyming of Danceophobia and “coming over ya”. Still, Pressure Off upgrades Rodgers’ old Notorious groove to fine effect, while What Are the Chances and the exquisite The Universe Alone find Simon Le Bon in the mature, melancholy mood he once exhibited on Ordinary World. If Paper Gods isn’t quite as strong throughout as 2010’s back-to-basics All You Need Is Now, Kill Me With Silence and the title track have terrific choruses and Sunset Garage beautifully honours the band’s survival: “Whatever happens, we’re OK / Hey, we’re still alive.”


Dave Simpson

The GuardianTramp

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