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Duran Duran - 2000 Pop Trash

ARTIST: Duran Duran
ALBUM: Pop Trash
LABEL: Hollywood Records
SERIAL: 0107512HWR
YEAR: 2000


LINEUP: Simon LeBon - lead vocals * Nick Rhodes - keyboards * Warren Cuccurullo - guitar

Additional Musicians:
Steve Alexander, Greg Bissonette - drums * Luis Conte - percussion * Guy Farley - piano * Sally Boyden - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Someone Else Not Me * 02 Lava Lamp * 03 Playing With Uranium * 04 Hallucinating Elvis * 05 Starting To Remember * 06 Pop Trash Movie * 07 Fragment * 08 Mars Meets Venus * 09 Lady Xanax * 10 The Sun Doesn't Shine Forever * 11 Kiss Goodbye * 12 Last Day On Earth * 13 Someone Else Not Me (En Espanol)


The biggest band to come out of the 'new romantic' movement and one of the most successful pop groups of the 1980's, Duran Duran struggled during the 1990's with changing musical tastes and line-up changes. That's not to say the group in its various incarnations didn't release good music. Indeed the albums 'Liberty', 'Duran Duran' (The Wedding Album) which gave the band a much needed hit single in 'Ordinary World', the endlessly derided covers album 'Thank You' and the experimental 'Mendazzaland' all contained some of Duran Duran's best stuff, but by 1990 after being dropped by Capitol/EMI it was a struggle to find a label interested in another album. Enter Hollywood Records, offering the band a three album deal, but it wasn't exactly a marriage made in heaven.

The Songs
Down to a threesome of Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes and former Missing Persons guitarist Warren Cuccurullo; 'Pop Trash' was recorded in earnest, but Hollywood didn't care for the record which in its original form was reputed to be one of Duran Duran's more 'organic' albums. The insistence of adding strings set the relationship off on the wrong foot, but the label won out, creating a very non-Duran Duran sounding album. Much of this can be attributed to the disc's over produced gloss, but also to the material on offer which teeters between mid-tempo rockers and soft ballads. Opening this ode to Las Vegas kitsch is one of the albums many slower songs and 'Someone Else Not Me' is very Beatlesesqe coming off the downslide of Britpop. LeBon's vocals on the excellent 'Playing with Uranium' are some of the best he's ever done and 'Hallucinating Elvis' recalls the most avant-garde moments of the previous album Mendazzaland' while the dreamy 'Starting To Remember' is a pretty good copy of the Electric Light Orchestra believe it or not. Two instrumentals make a brief appearance on the disc- 'Fragment' and the lush 'Kiss Goodbye', but I'm not sure what to make of 'Last Day On Earth' which sounds like any other alternative band from back then and while I enjoy 'Pop Trash' for a handful of good songs and the art rock ethic, it's clear the band ventured way too far from the energetic and creative Roxy Music-meets-Chic pop of their early albums, sounding tired far too often and as much as I hate to say it - irrelevant.

In Summary
Fortunately, the original group Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, Roger Taylor and John Taylor reformed for 2003's brilliant 'Astronaut' which was one of the best 'comeback' albums of the decade. It was not to last though as Andy Taylor parted ways for a second time with Duran Duran citing the usual musical differences over the 2007 disc 'Red Carpet Massacre'.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on December 21 2009 18:17:21
Did someone mention Missing Persons??? Ha Ha Love that band!! This is an average record by DD's standards.
#2 | DIGITAL on February 26 2010 19:13:19
This is duran on autopilot and right out of ideas. 1 good song though "mars meets venus".

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