LOTS of good stuff this week — so much, in fact, that I’m postponing my usual Friday Music XMas Album until next Friday, Christmas Eve. So yeah, you’ll get your yearly collection of cool yule tunes, compiled and with cover art, but it will be a last-minute prezzie.
On to this week’s gold:
More sneak peeks from the new Duran Duran album, which will be out next week. Seriously — go to iTunes and pre-order this sucker. Mark Ronson has done a *brilliant* job as a producer — he’s led DD back to their classic sound. Check out these two tracks:
Duran Duran – “Girl Panic.” Roger Taylor’s drumming on this track is very reminiscent of “Girls on Film”, in my opinion — and that’s a GREAT thing. But its all there — the funk bass of John Taylor, the reedy synth chords of Nick Rhodes…. and of course Simon Le Bon, sounding like he hasn’t aged a day.
Duran Duran – “The Man Who Stole A Leopard (feat. Kelis).” This one is more from “The Chauffeur” side of DD’s sound — and they’ve brought in some guest vocals from “Milkshake” alterna-diva Kelis. Sexy. I’m really, REALLY looking forward to this album.
Here’s a track that the Dastardly Best Friend introduced to me this week — Hurts is a Manchester-based synthpop duo. Listen to this. It’s 1985 all over again: Hurts – “Better Than Love.”
I’m quite glad that the 25-year nostalgia cycle is reviving interest in the synth sound of the 80s. A lot of newer groups get it very, very right. Australia’s Midnight Juggernauts debuted in 2007 with this single, and they just released their second album this past spring. This track has a great ELO-meets-David-Bowie vibe: Midnight Juggernauts – “Into The Galaxy.”
Speaking of Bowie — this track, released this past summer by LCD Soundsystem, has a very “Scary Monsters”-era Bowie sound to it, which I consider to be a very good thing indeed: LCD Soundsystem – “I Can Change.”
I discovered this track when I started catching up on Season 4 of HBO’s “Big Love” — they replaced the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” with this track for the new opening theme. To say that the song grew on me is an understatement. Engineers – “Home.”
Lastly, a great track from Patrick Wolf, whose music (which I’ve featured here before) has been called “baroque pop.” Insert “if it ain’t baroque” joke here. Seriously good stuff: Patrick Wolf – “Time of My Life.”
So there you go, kids. Enjoy. Copy-and-paste if the links give you trouble, be sure to check out the albums of the stuff you like. Next week, on Christmas Eve — this year’s Friday Music XMas Album (which still needs a title — suggestions welcome).