Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Whiners return

I've spent the better part of the past couple of decades trying to stuff the '80s back into the pandora's box from whence they emerged. Now comes news that Duran Duran, likely the iconic band of that woeful era, today released its first album in 21 years. (See the Boston Globe's piece, New Era, Same Duran Duran.)

Entitled, Astronaut, I'm sure it won't be long before the airwaves are plastered with its synthetic sounds designed to evoke a certain nostalgia for a vanished time.

Logic escapes me. Those of us old enough to remember the band and its ilk wouldn't dare admit that we listened to it then, much less now. Anyone younger than, um, a certain age likely wouldn't remember the band at all, and as such won't have any compelling reason to "discover" this band. I hardly think their rehashed synth-pop-overlaid-with-overwrought-whining will stand out next to the overproduced, lip-synched pap that typifies today's apocalyptically-bare radio landscape.

Note to all: I am not saying that today's music is any better than this reconstituted tripe from a decade that is best forgotten. Duran Duran is, however, of an even lesser degree of quality than the current stuff that masquerades as music.

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled rant.

I'm often an incredibly nostalgic person. I take great comfort in going back to the places from our past that made us feel coddled. Yet this is one instance where my nostalgia hits its limit. I have no interest in rehashing something which, frankly, brought little comfort to anyone during its first incarnation. Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm in an even better (read more cynical) position to recognize this for the cash grab that it is.

In this case, the past may have been better off left alone.


Kate said...

Here in DFW, some radio DJ got so sick of that Duran Duran song "The Reflex" that to try and get everyone else sick of it too, he played it 21 times in a row.

Gonzo said...

Here in DFW, some radio DJ got so sick of that Duran Duran song "The Reflex" that to try and get everyone else sick of it too, he played it 21 times in a row.Sorry, couldn't resist the pun, shouldn't that song be called "The Gag Reflex"?

Trillian said...

When I first heard that they were getting back together I thought, "Wow, that's pretty cool" because it was a part of my youth. But then, when I heard one of their songs on the radio the other day, I realized how synthetic their music was and decided that part of the '80's really doesn't need to be relived. Instead, I'll wait for my neon socks and legwarmers to come back in style.

Carmi said...

Wonderful sentiment! Those moments of epiphany - when we realize that what we once idolized is in fact as thin as wax paper - are too sad for words. I remember watching an old Platinum Blonde (the Canadian Duran Duran wannabes) video and realizing just how horridly pathetic their musicianship, choreography and overall packaging was. I think I did a better job dancing around my childhood bedroom pretending a badminton racquet was a guitar.

My only explanation for not realizing how bad it all was when we first experienced it was that we were too stupid to realize it at the time. Experience gives us a different perspective.

I'm sure our kids will say the same thing about today's "artists". Then again, so will we. Plus ca change...

Wheelson said...

I like all kinds of music, and I hate even more. I can be pretty snooty when it comes to critiquing music. Funny thing is, I'll freely admit that, on occasion, I like total crap. "Toxic" from Ms. Spears for example. What a horrible stupid dumb ass song, yet I totally dig it. "Rio" from Duran Duran is another one of those.

It's like a food critic that enjoys the occasional Big Mac. Doesn't make any sense, but in a world where a geriatric Duran Duran releases an album, it's par for the course.

Marc D. said...

Wow, bet you fools are all choking on your bile now that Duran Duran are back with a fantastic new album and tour, selling out huge arenas, with a lifetime achievement grammy and a possible upcoming Rock and Roll hall of fame induction. Platinum Blonde is also back with a new album and tour. Many of us love the 80s, which saw the BEST music of all time released. But keep on snickering, we don't care.