I really didn’t want to write a first-person perspective review, but oh, well — I’m a Duranie, and a review of a new Duran Duran album is an Important Event, please note the caps.
Quick verdict: Pop Trash is a lot better than the songs previewed in last year’s tour let on.
On stage, tracks such as “Lava Lamp” and “Hallucinating Elvis” came across not as kitschy, keepable trash, but as silly, disposable refuge.
Even the poignant “Someone Else Not Me” — which replicates the first two chords of “Ordinary World” and includes a quote of the descending guitar riff from “Come Undone” — seems less crass upon repeated listenings. (Although that line about the flower needing a bee is perpetually cringe-worthy.)
There are even moments of inspired complexity. “Starting to Remember” sports some really odd time signatures, and “Last Day on Earth” is the hardest rocker the band has produced since “Hold Back the Rain.”
I was really expecting to hate this album, but I don’t. It’s yet another well-crafted, solid collection of songs written by some seasoned industry veterans. Duran Duran on a bad day is still better than, say, Dynamite Hack on its least generic day.
At the same time, I can’t recommend Pop Trash to listeners searching for “The Wedding Album, Part Two.” Pop Trash does not engage in the kind of emotional depth forged by “The Wedding Album,” or even Medazzaland
“Pop Trash Movie,” with its sweeping, psychedlic strings, certainly comes close, but such moments are scarce on the album.
Duranies will like this album, maybe even love it. The rest of the public can and probably will pass on it and not miss much more than some tasty but unremarkable confections.