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Album Review

"It's like the Mamas & the Papas meets Kraftwerk." This line, more baffling than a lyric like "Shake up the picture, the lizard mixture, with your dance on the eventide," is how Simon LeBon described Astronaut to Rolling Stone. If it was meant to lower expectations of the first Duran Duran album to feature the Fab Five (meaning LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and the trio of unrelated Taylors) since Seven and the Ragged Tiger, it worked. Astronaut, rest assured, sounds nothing like that match made in hell. Instead, it resembles what the average lapsed Durannie might expect or even hope for — a modern-sounding mixture of extroverted dance-pop and rock, with a couple of relatively subdued and introverted moments. No sound seems forced, and you can tell that the members are thrilled to be in the same studio with one another. Despite a disparate lineup of producers, including Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Good Charlotte, Avril Lavigne) and Dallas Austin (Boyz II Men, Janet Jackson, Pink), the songs slide into one another as well as they do on any of the group's early albums. The big, glossy, buoyant songs work best, containing punching choruses and sleekly raucous motifs that manage to trigger faint memories without sounding recycled. The lighthearted mid-tempo funk of "Bedroom Toys," however, is a randy nightmare that's almost as awkward as any of the covers on Thank You. Even with a handful of forgettable songs beyond that, the album is easily the best one credited to the Duran Duran name since 1993's Wedding Album. That's not saying much, but the fact that these five fortysomethings have made something fresh and contemporary — without acknowledging the '80s revival(s) — is a feat of some kind. (Note: Short-fused Roxy Music fans are advised to avoid looking inside the accompanying booklet.)

Customer Reviews

great come back that was over looked by the rest of the world

when I heard this cd i was surpise with how good it was. I have figured that Duran Durans best days were past them. I was wrong and greatly wrong. This is a wonderful cd to listen too. I love to listen to it on the way to work. Nice, astronaut and sunrise are among my favortives. If you have ever been a Duran Duran fan I would get this cd. It is among their best work, next to Rio, if not better then Rio.

Enjoyable and Surprising

The members of Duran Duran have aged. (Like the rest of us who enjoyed their early albums.) The old saying...things get better with age holds true with Astronaut. The band benefits from learning their craft better and technology in a cleaner, deeper, more layered sound. This teamed with good lyrics delivers a refreshingly good album. Tracks to highlight are Bedroom Toys, Point of No Return and Virus. If you are a fan and have evolved in your music taste, this is an excellent album to add to your collection. These songs rate 5, 4, & 3 stars in our itunes collection. This is why the album is rated highly in our book. Enjoy the Album.

The mark of truly talented musicians... that they continuously expand their technique, sound, and relevance to suit the broad ever-shifting trends in the music industry, while maintaining their distinctive sound. Duran Duran proves they're more than a one-decade 80's band, that they're among the few truly talented musicians, with this album. Good, solid songs that set your toes tapping and voicebox humming. Newbies and die-hard Duranies alike will be greatful they picked up Astronaut!


Formed: 1978 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Duran Duran personified new wave for much of the mainstream audience. And for good reason. Duran Duran's reputation was built through music videos, which accentuated their fashion-model looks and glamorous sense of style. Without music videos, it's likely that their pop-funk -- described by the group as the Sex Pistols-meet-Chic -- would never have made them international pop stars. While Duran Duran did have sharper pop sensibilities than their new romantic contemporaries like Spandau Ballet and...
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