Duran Duran, ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ (Epic)
For 2004’s Astronaut, Duran Duran hired Dallas Austin and Linkin Park pal Don Gilmore to overhaul their vintage dance-pop sound; it didn’t work. Here, they splurge on Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Timbo’s partner Nate “Danja” Hills, who provide a reasonably good return on investment: “Nite Runner” throbs with future-sex love pop, “Falling Down” cries a river of crocodile tears, and “Skin Divers” re-creates Fischerspooner’s operatic electroclash for the three people who still care. Throughout the album, au courant emptiness is a cardinal virtue.
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