From the Vault...


Duran Duran

© Capitol Records

Year of Release: 1990

track listing
  • Violence Of
    Taking Over)
  • Liberty
  • Hothead
  • Serious
  • All Along The Water
  • My Antartica
  • First Impression
  • Read My Lips
  • Can You Deal With It
  • Venice Drowning
  • Downtown

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    Duran Duran

    Ah, its Duran Duran time again... As mentioned in previous Duran Duran reviews on this site, this band has never been one of my all-time favorites. That's the bad news... The good news is that I have learned to enjoy Duran Duran's later releases, rather than their significant most popular glory days albums. Their 1990 release Liberty is a pretty good album, yet it has its same typical (and arguable) features I have heard in their earliest releases, likewise some relatively "listenable" tunes to enjoy.

    Their 1988 release Big Thing (and reviewed on this site) was given a very positive review, and has to be a release that I would recommend over their most famous releases; of course that would be debatable to the die-hard fan of Duran Duran. Sure, there are some songs that could easily equate some songs from Big Thing on Liberty, but there weren't any major hits from Liberty as compared to Big Thing, which that I can easily argue over.

    The songs that could easily have received heavy airplay on Liberty are "Violence Of Summer," "Serious" and "First Impression." Even though two of those songs in this list I seem to enjoy, it's surprising that none of the songs on this release were never released as major or minor hits. (More on how these three songs are "enjoyed" later in this review...)

    "Violence Of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" is a nice pop/dance number to start off the album, as it reminds me of the beat rhythms of The B-52's "Love Shack." This one could easily have been the first song to be released as a hit.

    As stated in previous Duran Duran reviews, I was never a huge fan, as I was never a fan of Simon LeBon's voice. On the title track "Liberty," certain vocal parts from LeBon doesn't have my listening ear in the best frame of mind, as it reminds me of (what I call) the "whining" vocals of Simon LeBon in the "heyday" of Duran Duran's releases, such as their self-titled debut release, and especially Seven And The Ragged Tiger.

    "Hothead" has a great funky beat, and surprisingly, the vocals are pretty decent (maybe because the vocals of LeBon and other members of the band are combined.) It's not a song that could immediately get everyone's blood going, (in my opinion, anyway), but the next song certainly does: "Serious" is my favorite from the album, as the beat of this songs grabs your attention, from beginning to end, and I can easily say that Simon LeBon's vocals are quite pleasant to digest on this one.

    "All Along The Water" is another song that certainly doesn't grab my interest. The vocals are fair, and the dancebeat is tolerable. This song is not one the best, but it's somewhat listenable. "My Antartica" is quite impressive; it's a bit slower than the previous selections before it, as it has a more 1990s sound, as heard in such groups as U2 and INXS.

    "First Impression" is another one that shares with "All Along The Water", and despite the title of the song, my First Impression is not as the most positive and impressive as the die-hard Duran Duran fan. But ooohhhh... read on... "Read My Lips" certainly has potential, as it reminds me of the Duran Duran spinoff group, The Power Station's "Some Like It Hot" with its pulsing beat, and dance rhythms. "Read My Lips" is definitely a song worth repeated listens, and a possibility of being a radio hit.

    "Can You Deal With It" brings up an arguable point in Duran Duran's nusic: The music itself on this song is extremely exceptional; having a cool clubdance beat, yet the vocals of Simon LeBon is what I have to deal with -- it passes on this one, yet I've said in past Duran Duran reviews -- Simon LeBon's voice makes me cringe on certain songs. (However, cringing didn't really hit my senses on this one, as it did on the "heyday" albums I mentioned earlier.)

    Yet, I can agree that the music and vocals are quite satisfactory on the next tune, "Venice Drowning." Oh sure, there's that "whining" voice of LeBon in the song, yet its tolerable to my listening ear. And the last song, "Downtown" is simply great -- both the music (and yes!) the vocals. It has a certain eerieness about it, and the vocals are quite pleasant -- not much "whining" here.

    Let's face it: Duran Duran is not one of my favorite bands of all time, yet Duran Duran has been better with age. It seems that their later releases may not have enjoyed the enormous success of their glory days, but they are more interesting to listen to. They still remain to have an incredible sound in pop/clubdance music. I'm sure the die-hard Duran Duran fans simply enjoys BOTH the music and vocals of Simon LeBon, but for some people, there are those who simply love them or hate them. Do I hate Duran Duran? In their glory days I did, nowadays I've enjoyed their later releases, maybe because they're not hyped up as they used to be. But all in all, I just wished that Simon LeBon's vocals were better.

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    Previous Review: #735
    Black Sabbath--Volume 4
    Next Review: #737
    Chuck Berry--St. Louie To Frisco To Memphis