Just couldn't restrain myself!

I know I've only got a few songs left on my list and you want me to get to it, but I just couldn't help myself.  So #6 is going to have to wait just a few days longer while I crank this one out.

If you ever liked Duran Duran back in the day you MUST listen to their new single, "All You Need Is Now."  Normally I'm not one to tell people what to do, but when I heard this song for the first time a few days ago, I just couldn't shake it.  Although I'm a big fan of Duran Duran, I have to admit that I had not idea they had a new album out+.  After only the first listen, this quickly jumped into one of my favorite Duran Duran songs ever, and not just because it was new.  It's a song that I didn't expect much from (wasn't a huge fan of their last effort), but being the huge fan of the band, I at least wanted to give it a fair shake.  I just didn't expect it to shake back.  But boy did it.

When the song kicks off, there's this strange keyboard riff that immediately reminded me of some of the stuff from Red Carpet Massacre, their last studio album (which I wasn't a huge fan of).  Ugh, I thought to myself - not this again.  But the more Nick Rhodes keyboards kept repeating, the more I started getting into it*.  My head started to bob as John Taylor's straightforward (especially for him) bass line kicked in.  Roger Taylor does a great drum beat, playing mostly the rim of his snare and laying down an infectious rhythm with his brother from another mother.

Simon LeBon's vocals have that "singing through a bullhorn" effect laid over them, giving a distant timbre to his voice.  Normally, I'm not a big fan of this particular effect, but like the keyboard line, it quickly grew on me.  The lyrics sound good with that aggressive delivery, and are vintage LeBon, meaning that I don't have any real idea what the hell he's talking about:

It's all up to you now
Find yourself in the moment
Go directly to the voodoo
Now the channel is open

Then I realized something about the opening and first verse- it's all a part of a yin-yang prelude to the chorus.  The verses are the new Duran Duran dissonance laden dance-hall music, but with a nod to the more traditional Duran Duran melody.  But then the chorus hits, with a slight change in tempo, a phasing effect and pow!  You're immediately transported to 1982 with a chorus that could've been the lead single from their album Rio.  It's such a shock that you pause for a second, wondering if you heard it right.  I actually scrolled back a few seconds just to hear the transition again.  There it was again, this juke to the right when you expected it to go left.

Realizing that they were paying tribute to the Duran Duran of the 80's, Simon's lyrics in the chorus more than nod to the past.  In fact, he says it outright, as he paints a beautiful picture of what it was like back in the day - and that it can be like that again.

And you sway in the moon the way you did when you were younger
We told everybody all you need is now
Stay with the music let it play a little longer
You don't need anybody all you need is now

Producer Mick Ronson, who grew up a huge Duran Duran fan, wanted the band to take a page from both books, new and old, and meld them together into something special.  A Grammy winner for his production on Amy Winehouse's breakout album Back to Black, he even helped out with the effort, playing the guitar on the new song and the rest of the new album.  Thank God he talked the boys into going back to what they do so well, because they hit this one out of the park.

That's the great thing about music.  It can surprise you and impress you when you least expect it.  A band you've never heard of before gets played by someone in the cube next to yours.  It starts off with "Who's that?" and turns into a new band that you really like.  Other times, like this, a band that you miss puts out something that harkens to what they do best but also has a flair of originality that captures your attention - just like it did when you heard them play back in the day.  Duran Duran caught me off guard, but in the best possible way.  They made a song I wasn't sure they still had in them, and I'm hungry for more. 

At this point, I'm contemplating at twelve-step program of some type to deal with this addiction.  I've listed to the song twenty times in the last three days.  And I'll listen to it another half-dozen times while I'm working on this post.  So watch/listen to the clip below and put on your 80's regalia - neon, hair spray, whatever you got left, and enjoy new wave/pop music the way it's supposed to be done. 

+ In fairness to me, they released it only on Itunes.  I'm not a big Itunes fan - I don't like the way Apple wants to control my music and where/how I listen to it, so I get my music vial old-school CDs or other online outlets.

* But think about it for a minute.  Aren't there some similarities between the whacked out keyboard intro to this song and the melancholy vampire-like intro to "The Chauffeur"?  Both are catch you off guard, zig instead of zag keyboard lines.  So while I called they keyboard intro and verses the "yin" to the "yang" of the chorus, there's a little more gray than we give it credit for.

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