Monday, December 30, 2013

Rio - Duran Duran

This is the second album by the UK's Duran Duran. I first got into these guys via A View to a Kill. Then got more into their other stuff, until actually liking them a lot. I plan on reviewing all their studio and live albums. Yes, from 1981's Self Titled to 2012's A Diamond In The Mind. And also the Arcadia album too, fyi. These guys got their name from one of my favorite movies Barbarella. I don't really want to get to into the logistics with this album, I just want to review it. It's a very fun album and I look forward to this :)
  1. Rio: This opens the album with a punch. Simon's vocals are great. And the lyrics really paint a picture. It is a perfect song for summer. It's also so bad ass. The bass riff kicks the shit out of most bass lines. The sound in the beginning is piano strings being hit and played in reverse. The drums in this track are sick too. It's a very tight pop song. I've tried to play the bass, it's kind of hard. It's not easy like most pop songs. The chorus of this song is about as sweet as sugar, but it's the kind of sugar that's laced. The kind that people get addicted to. It's actually hard to describe this song, I'm forcing my self to listen and not jam along. The breakdown with the sax solo. The sax solo it top notch, it is played by a session guy but still. I am seriously surprised to see that these guy's didn't really go to school. This is pretty great playing. I the random arpeggios were created by them playing a C minor chord through a arpeggiator. They just all click on this track. This is one of the funnest song ever written to do anything to. It just cheers you up. I also really like the lyrics that paint a picture, and are kind of abstract. {10/10}
  2. My Own Way: This track kind of continues that energy from the last track, but conserves it. They keep it conservative. It doesn't reach the same height, but it still goes pretty high. Another great bass line. It's funky, and this song has a funk flavor to it. Thought this is another solid track, I could see why the band don't love this track. I like the guitar strumming on this song. And the instrumental part leading to the solo, is great. It's like a new wave influenced Young Americans. It is a little redundant, but not to the point of it ruining the album.
  3. Lonely In Your Nightmare: This is the albums first "ballad". It's much slower than the two prior tracks and reminds me a little of The Cure. This song is pretty, but it doesn't reach "it" until the chorus. I can't believe how pretty, and dreamy, the harmonies sound there. This is the type of song where I am patiently waiting for the chorus. It has grown on me overtime, but the best part is still the chorus. It is just under the sweetness of Rio's chorus. I like the the other things going on over the final chorus, the acoustic guitars, and the keys.
  4. Hungry Like The Wolf: The lamest song on the album. I have to be honest, and serious. I'm not a big fan of this track. This track reminds me of the jungle, because of the synths. There isn't really anything about this track that I can say amazes me.
  5. Hold Back The Rain: This is the best track to follow up Hungry Like The Wolf. This isn't exactly like the prior track, but it's defiantly in the same vein. That and maybe My Own Way's chorus. Unfortunately I can't really say much about this track. Usually I skip it, or don't play it. I do think it's better than a lot of other songs by other artists thought. {6/10}
  6. New Religion: This is where the album picks up again. This song starts out pretty cool then goes into a bass, drum, guitar riff thingy. It's a solid groove. It's pretty minimal, well for most of the song. The part where the two vocals are singing is awesome and I love how they have the harmonies in the chorus. I love the distortion on the guitars. The ending where they have the two vocals going, one singing and the other talk-singing. That's awesome how they did that.
  7. Last Chance On The Stairway: This song has a solid rhythm track. You could easily dance to this, like the rest of the album, but this song doesn't really get it's due respect. I think the weakest part is probably the chorus. I wish that it was as good as the rest of this song. It's not that it ruins it, but it just hurts it. The energy in this song is the energy that we felt earlier on the album. It love the whole vibes solo thing, and album that breakdown. It's great, and the best part of the song. I also enjoy listening to the guitar solo. It's not that long, but it's defiantly my favorite part of the song. Like my favorite part of Rosalita "Someday well look back on this, and it'll all seem funny". It's only a few seconds long, this is longer then Rosie, but you get the point. {9/10}
  8. Save A Prayer: This song is very pretty. Not quiet as pretty as the next track, but it's defiantly beautiful. It's very laid back, compared to the rest of the album. These harmonies are tight and this track is just dreamy. It almost always brings a tear to my eye. It's a love song, but not really. It's kind of like "we fell in love, but it didn't work out". It's very touching and just sad. It accomplishes everything it sets out to. This track is a "last dance" type of song. To close out prom or something like that. And this is followed by the kicker {10/10}
  9. The Chauffeur: This track closes this album. Damn, this is completely different than Rio. It defiantly has a book closer ending. This is abstract and the lyrics rock. The music video rocks, and the whole vibe rocks. I honestly can't find one problem with this song. It's so pretty and the way he sings it, with soul. I can proudly say this is the best song on the album. Simon plays an Ocarina solo on this track, which I have to say makes it that much more of a sweet moody piece. I mean I could easily spend hours listening to this track on repeat. And the way Rio starts the album, the way an album should start, The Chauffeur ends it the way an album should end. I can tell this will have a huge impact on a future album I have planned. At the end of the day everything on this track works. This is a "last dance" type of song, more so than the prior track. If life was a movie, and you're love ended then I'd be honored to have this be the song playing when me and her realize "this is it, goodbye". {11/10}
Overall I have to give this album a 8/10. The Duran Duran magic just clicks here. They have other awesome amazing song too, but not like this. Some of the songs on the album just set such high standards. The strong tracks are all 10s and the weaker tracks are like 7's or 8's so yeah. The album was well put together and I can't really complain about production.