Written by: Alex Green
It’s really this simple: Duran Duran’s Paper Gods is a seismic return to form.
A winning twelve song offering, the band sound rejuvenated, alive and as musically inspired as ever.
Simon Le Bon is one of the best frontmen on the planet and he might very well be one of the most underrated singers around. His voice is untouched by time and has more bite than ever–he knows how to whip a phrase around a bass riff or throw it at a big nasty beat better than anyone.
The album is loaded with highlights, but for starters, there’s the lacerating funk of “Pressure Off” or the libidinous “Butterfly Girl.” Elsewhere, there’s the life-affirming pop of “Sunset Garage” and the straight up synth workout of “Face For Today.”
The band sounds taut and hungry, and the John Taylor/Nick Rhodes rhythm section holds down each number with authority and groove.
Should we call them the New Wave Rolling Stones?
Sure, if you like.
But decades aside, Duran Duran’s enduring appeal has less to do with endurance and more to do with remaining sonically vital.
And Paper Gods is just that: an urgent and tuneful collection that’s as crucial as it is compelling.