During the Eighties, the members of Duran Duran were less a band than composers of the soundtrack for the postpunk era. They played the theme songs for their own James Bond fantasies, wrote the scores for coyly decadent videos and charted the decade as it realized the triumph of smug tastefulness over taste. In the interest of remaining plugged in, the D's sans Taylors Andy and Roger eschew some of their famed gloss on Liberty. New members Warren Cuccurullo and Sterling Campbell (on guitar and drums, respectively) help Duran... Read More
Duran sound a bit more like a musical group and a bit less like a design project.
Still, the libertines are aging beautifully the best songs on Liberty are unabashed paeans to sensualism, conveyed with swanky musical style and characteristically disconnected lyric images. The Durans go straight for the soul on the title number, which is part Durannie dance track and part funk throb, altogether a much more successful co-opting of street beats than Sting's "We'll Be Together," which it resembles. The weird first single, "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)," could double as a white-trash Appalachian ballad if interpreted straight enough, and an inventive rhyming of jism and catechism in "Venice Drowning" pretty much sums up Duran's obsessions now as ever.
But the Nineties are, as we all know, the Aware Decade, and now that Simon Le Bon has handily accomplished such sublime Eighties activities as marrying a top model and falling off a yacht, here and there he drops his roué routine and finds himself worrying about headlines including, of all things, our increasingly violent, licentious society ("Hothead"). This from the man who brought you "Girls on Film" but fortunately, elsewhere on this album, Duran Duran proves that sensual excess is still a thriving concern. (RS 589)