October 21, 2004

Test Spin: Duran Duran

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“At least I don’t hide what I am,” wails super-turbo-slut Renee Zellwegger in 1995’s Empire Records, in what was quite possibly our generation’s most immortalized drug intervention since Jesse Spanno’s epic battle with caffeine pills. Like the unabashedly sexually active Zellwegger, Duran Duran’s comeback effort Astronaut makes no attempt to conceal the group’s true identity. Yes, Duran Duran sticks to their original sound, a rare treat for a comeback album. Nevermind that the eighties are now twenty years departed; Duran Duran still is, was, and always will be a product of the bygone era. Although on such tracks as “One of These Days,” the band relinquishes its undying devotion to the synthesizer in place of a strange and scary instrument known as the “guitar,” for the most part, Astronaut continues Duran Duran’s legacy of addictive, electropop beats. Astronaut’s opening track “Reach up for the Sunrise” is vintage Duran Duran, offering the same infectious breed of pop that captivated hormonally charged teens on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m somewhat ashamed to find myself belting out the opening track’s inane chorus, “Reach Out for the Sunrise/ Put Your Hands into the Big Sky,” but then again these are the same boys who were propelled to superstardom by proclaiming “Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand.”

Archived article by Talia Ron
Sun Staff Writer