Duran Duran


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The monumental embarrassment of their covers album, Thank You, derailed Duran Duran's impressive early-'90s comeback and its successor, the clumsily named Medazzaland, finds the group trying regain lost territory. John Taylor left the group early in the recording of Medazzaland, leaving Simon LeBon and Nick Rhodes as the only surviving original members. With former Missing Persons member Warren Cuccurullo assisting on guitar, bass, and production, LeBon and Rhodes decide to update their basic new romantic dance-pop to include industrial, Brit-pop, and ambient flourishes. Ironically, all this window dressing merely emphasizes that Duran Duran are at their best when they concentrate on straight-ahead dance-pop and balladry, not when they try to be hip. Unfortunately, for most of Medazzaland, the group tries to stay hip and contemporary, and ultimately that's what prevents the album from offering enough pleasure.

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