After last year's disastrous "Thank You" cover album, the boys (well, some of them) are back with their first record of new material since their 1995 comeback. Now a three-piece (bassist John Taylor bailed out halfway through this project), Duran Duran has taken pages from the notebooks of Bowie and Oasis to craft a sonically dense disc. You have to dig for them, but the jewels in "Medazzaland" are there.
The result is an uneven grab bag of catchy tunes and slow-burning ballads buried under the rubble of overproduction and a half-hearted avoidance of traditional song structure. The back cover says it all: a scarred and artfully uglified take on the "Rio" artwork that made them famous. Now if they'd only go back to playing songs that make the young girls swoon ...
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