It's easy to laugh when you hear the news that Duran Duran have teamed up with the likes of Timbaland and Justin Timberlake in the making of their new album.
Whilst some might argue that working with such hot and of-the-moment producers and stars of their likes somewhat overstates Duran's importance in the 21st Century even the most po-faced reviewer would have to admit that the album has a certain vibrance and vitality that at least means it avoids the "drunken uncle at your wedding" syndrome that, by rights, this album should posess in spades.
The three Timbaland tracks are as positive as you might expect and would have made welcome additions to his recent "solo" album. Pick of the trio is Nite Runner, a slinky, breathy and funky track that will soon be crawling under your skin. The Justin Timberlake produced Falling Down is less successful, but then for all his success, Timberlake can be very much hit and miss and seems to have very few ideas. Indeed this sounds very similar to that one he did where Scarlet Johannson is in the video (sorry, but I've had a temporary mind freeze).
The only problem with it all is Simon Le Bon. It's faintly ridiculous that he's fronting an album as "fresh" as this, a problem which is exacerbated by his trite and sometime cringeworthy lyrical input.
Still as anyone who remembers the absolute car-crash that their covers album was will testify, this could have been a lot worse. In the end it's far better than I feared it might be, and that has to count for something.