Surprisingly stylish makeover for 80s veterans

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Duran Duran – Red Carpet Massacre

As last year’s ‘Only After Dark’ compilation of postpunk synthpop suggested, DD have belatedly concluded that they’re really more Arcadia than Power Station, and with this – their first album since guitarist [b]John Taylor[/b] split – they’d like to come across as godfathers of avant-pop.

If you’re willing to overlook [b]Simon Le Bon[/b]’s always peculiar lyrics and occasionally strained singing, ‘Red Carpet Massacre’ is actually pretty impressive. The three [b]Timbaland/Timberlake[/b] hookups are effective rather than embarrassing, and with the slinky “Nite Runner” they’ve produced their best single since 1986’s “Skin Trade”.