John Taylor is often quoted as saying that the initial vision for Duran Duran was to cross the club friendly disco funk of Chic with the punk rock guitars and attitude of The Sex Pistols. As they developed their sound grew away from this pretty quickly and they became one of the iconic bands of the early 80s, although still with an eye as much on the dancefloor as an ear to the charts and arenas.
Although, for my money they made some of the best music of the early 80s (and turned in great albums in 1993 and 2007) the idea of what they could have been is still intoxicating. And so we turn to today’s release of TV On The Radio’s third album Dear Science, and we must wonder what JT, Nick Rhodes et al would make of it.
As slick and funky as anything dreamed up by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards (check out ‘Red Dress’ and ‘Crying’) it still has the metallic dream pop edge of their debut and 2006’s Return To Cookie Mountain and, as Pitchfork have already pointed out, lyrics mired in “self-doubt, Bush-hate, and future-fear”. A very noughties take on the original DD proposition.
It may lack a moment as unstoppable as …Cookie Mountain’s ‘Wolf Like Me’ but as a whole it’s a much more satisfying proposition with several killer tracks (opener ‘Halfway Home’ and ‘Dancing Choose’ are current faves). Now if we could only get David Sitek to produce the next Duran Duran album…