The disc benefits from the ongoing reign of Lady Gaga, who shares the group’s fondness for the outre, the shiny and the ridiculous. Thanks to her, silicone-infused electro-pop is having a dance-floor moment, and Duran Duran’s shellacked new-wave songs and penchant for glamorous animal metaphors and songs about supermodels once again seem timely.
The band stumbles on the overly Gaga-esque, clattering fire alarm of a title track but rights itself immediately: “Being Followed” echoes “Girls on Film”; “Safe (in the Heat of the Moment),” with a guest vocal from the Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic, references ’70s funk icons Chic (this is unsurprising, because pretty much everything Duran Duran does references Chic); and most every song sounds like the potential theme to a James Bond film starring Daniel Craig.
The band sells even the lesser songs with unflagging energy and a straight face, even the fake sad (Duran Duran doesn’t do actual sad) ballad “The Man Who Stole a Leopard.” It’s preposterous on its face — surely the group can afford to buy as many leopards as it would like — but strangely hypnotic, with a guest turn from a lost-sounding Kelis, the only person on the album who doesn’t seem to know exactly why she’s there.
Recommended Tracks: “Being Followed,” “Mediterranea”