Duran Duran – Astronaut; Red Carpet Massacre; All You Need Is Now (Indie Exclusive, Pink Colored Vinyl) — — Album Review

Duran Duran – Astronaut; Red Carpet Massacre; All You Need Is Now (Indie Exclusive, Pink Colored

Weekly Review:

Duranies rejoice! Three of Duran Duran’s 21st century albums are back on vinyl for the first time since
their original release.
Astronaut dropped in 2004 – a long way from the band’s days of mega-stardom in the mid-‘80s. For the
first time in many years, there was legitimate hype and buzz behind a Duran Duran release. The return
of the unrelated Taylors – Andy, John and Roger – reunited the original lineup behind all those huge ‘80s
hits. Astronaut wasn’t the second coming of Rio, or even Seven and the Ragged Tiger, but is a success on
its own terms, blending the classic Duran Duran sound with a contemporary setting.
Three years later, Andy Taylor was gone, but the rest of the classic lineup remained on Red Carpet
Massacre. With production from Timbaland and Danja, and two tracks with Justin Timberlake, the album
was clearly borrowing heavily from the current success of Timberlake and Timbaland’s Future Sex/Love
Sounds collaboration. While Duran Duran have always had a presence in the clubs, here the band feels
like guests on their own album. For the most part, the organic Duran contributions fail to click with the
programmed beats and production. For example, “She’s Too Much” would be a fine track on its own,
stripped of Danja’s rigid drum track. There are moments when everything clicks into place – such as the
slap bass part in the second half of “The Valley” – but for the most part Red Carpet Massacre feels like a
By the time All You Need Is Now dropped in 2011, the core four in Duran Duran had been operating
together for a decade. They again turned to a hot producer, but wisely let Mark Ronson produce the
entire album, instead of parceling out tracks like they did on Red Carpet Massacre. The resulting album
feels much more cohesive. Instead of being weighted down by their past, the band are having fun,
celebrating their successes. All You Need is Now is easily the best album from the reunited lineup
(although 2021’s Future Past isn’t far behind) and belongs in even a casual fan’s collection. -Joel Francis