Duran Duran Red Carpet Massacre

Duran Duran Red Carpet Massacre
Middle age is a bitch, and don’t Duran Duran know it. Struggling to recover their mojo for the last decade and a half, the kings of new romantic (now minus Andy Taylor) haven’t exact maintained the glory of their model rockin’ ’80s heyday. Lucky for them they found relief (or is it pity?) in the helping hands of Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Danja for their 12th album. A surprise to many, considering the band’s, ahem, age and let’s face it, irrelevance after a string of comeback attempts, this collaboration couldn’t be any more fitting for both sides. Timba and JT pay homage and make their mark on an undeniable influence, and Duran Duran find new life in a similar manner to the reinvigoration Niles Rodgers gave 1986’s Notorious, which certainly comes to mind repeatedly over the course of the disc. Danja oversees most of the disc and does a much better job than he did with Britney’s Blackout, tapping into the band’s original synth-based groove and bendy bass lines to inject an R&B core. JT’s single, "Falling Down,” is perhaps truest to Duran’s fashion, holding a mid-tempo beat with a guitar-led melody and somewhat vacant lyrics, while the Timba/Timber/Danja collaboration "Nite-Runner” is the slippery club joint that should re-introduce them to the mainstream. "Skin Divers,” meanwhile, is all Timba utilising his deep synths and retro-futuristic golden touch for something that would slide nicely onto his Shock Value album. Most surprising of all is how Red Carpet Massacre keeps its composure until the end, and that’s even allowing for the ultra-slick instrumental "Tricked Out.” I’m as surprised as anybody about this, and also not feeling guilty about the pleasure found in Red Carpet Massacre. (Epic)