Mu-ha-ha-ha! In a very spooky, Halloween-tinged Dolby Disaster case study, we will now investigate, plead and plod, and try to find out if there are any actual, discernible human beings behind either Shamir’s album Ratchet, or for that matter, the new Duran Duran album.
Real quick, influences on new Duran Duran: Cut Copy, producer Mark Ronson, mechanical hearts made from recycled cardiac tissue which Popeye might operate as a side-job if he’s not too busy on the railroad. Influences on Shamir – Ratchet: being a massive tool, lowest common denominator club music, cataclysmically uncreative phrasings, and again, not necessarily have a FULL, UNDENIABLE feel on this whole how to be an actual human being thing. But having about Santa Clause’s worth of studio budget.
One of these groups is old as sin, and the other looks about ready to rebelliously bust open a Capri Sun before high school drama practice. So how could they make the same album, you ask? Well, with the help of a culture wherein American Idol is the most popular show of the last decade, we’ve reduced entirely, even per the putrid recent New Yorker article about Grimes, to thinking of music in terms of “stars” — vocal virtuosos getting on microphones and spewing generic relationship pathos. I mean, they don’t even have the nerve to be like Franz Ferdinand and say “You’re the reason I’m leaving,” or like The Hives and say “Take back the toys that you gave to me / I never knew what to do with them anyway.” See, I’ll defend frat boy rock if it kills me.
Or, even, to be hippies, like Cut Copy in their last album, the intensely underrated DD darling Free Your Mind.
Ok.. Duran Duran are at least DISCIPLINED, and if you’re not a certified handler of concentrated spite, as are Franz Ferdinand and The Hives, you’re better off leaving it alone entirely, which they certainly do. Their album is basically just nauseating, cheap club music courtesy of industry massive tool box Mark Ronson, over the “prose poetry” (gotta take what you can get these days) Simon Le Bon. He’s the type of guy who wouldn’t hurt a flea, and in our current day of spininess and arrogance in dance, this is at very least refreshing. I purchased it. Gotta know what the robots are doing these days, all the better for eventually becoming one, thereby minimizing disappointment with the world.