Duran Duran and Mr. Hudson

That title sounds like a movie in the making…

Did anyone see that the band is in the studio working with Mr. Hudson?  I won’t lie, I didn’t know much about Mr. Hudson, other than he’s worked with Kanye West – in fact he was signed to Kanye’s label and his recent effort, Straight No Chaser was recorded with Kanye West as the Executive Producer, so I took to Spotify to check out his work. I’ve heard a couple of his songs before, but as is typical for me, I’d never really listened. One thing I immediately detect is a sort of shout out to the 80’s.  Not cheesy 80’s, mind you – not throwaway top 40’s pop from the 80’s (thank goodness) – but some of those elements you might hear from Duran Duran, Missing Persons, Joy Division, New Order, ABC…(I could go on and on really).  The arrangements might not be entirely obvious, but you can certainly hear the influences of bands we know and love in the background, despite the fact that the music as a whole is solidly modern.  While I might not be a fan of some of the more urban sounds he seems to favor – I’m hopeful that he’ll work with to maintain respect for the sound we know, recognize, and love.

I also checked out Google to gain understanding of where he’s from, what he’s been up to, etc.  He’s from Birmingham (that can’t hurt!), and he’s toured with everyone from Amy Winehouse to Jay-Z.  As I mentioned, he was signed to Kanye’s label, and has worked with Kanye, Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus…and even dub step artist Caspa.

It will be very interesting to hear the final product, but I suspect that the band is looking to breath some modernity into the musical space that they own. As the band has often said, they want to keep looking forward.  I like that Mr. Hudson seems to be able to span the distance between the best that the 80s had to offer and some of the more urban, modern sounds of today.  If he can do that without destroying the band’s musical identity for their fans – then we’re on to something.

If you’re like me and aren’t entirely familiar with Mr. Hudson’s music  (I think I’d only heard Supernova and maybe a couple other songs of his???) – you should check him out, you might just be surprised.

9 thoughts on “Duran Duran and Mr. Hudson”

  1. I’m not familiar with him at all, but I do remember the name in conjunction with something or other. Was he a support act for the the band at one point? Possibly he was on the bill when they played Lovebox and Simon wore that godawful top hat? ;-D

    1. He has played a bunch of the UK festivals, Bryony…let me paraphrase from what I found on Wikipedia, which I realize isn’t necessarily accurate, but it’s the fastest to find. 🙂

      He’s played Glastonbury, the V festival, T in the Park, The Big Chill, Bestival and at The Millennium Stadium (in support of The Police). Those shows were in 2007, I believe.

      Then he played supporting Jay-Z on tour in the UK, including Isle of Wight and Wireless Festivals in 2010. So, he’s been around, but yeah – I hadn’t heard much about him either. I don’t know if it’s because I’m in the US or because I just don’t tend to listen to stations where I would have been more exposed to him (I’m guessing it’s the latter). I think he might do the band well.

  2. Speaking of 2007 though…this sounds awfully familiar. Like when they brought Timbaland and Timberlake on board for the label during RCM. I think if you compare RCM to AYNIN…well…..discuss!

    1. Does it really sound familiar? I mean – yes, they seem to be working with Mr. Hudson, and so that similarity is there – but other than that? To my knowledge, DD is still with S-Curve, and I don’t know that they’d insist on the band working with one person over another. (although it’s possible I suppose) As for Mr. Hudson’s music itself, I don’t think it’s very comparable to Timbaland’s, but that’s just my opinion. I listened to quite a bit of Mr. Hudson’s work today. Timbaland was very much urban, very modern…and very different from Duran, historically speaking. Mr. Hudson, while also very modern, seems to at least give a nod in the direction of the 80’s. Listen to Everything is Broken, for instance. You can’t really miss the synthesizer on that one…but even Supernova, which features Kanye West of all people, still has quite a bit of the 80’s keyboards in there. I think he just spans the gap much better, and as a result he might have more respect for Duran’s natural sound. Of course, time will tell, but I’m very hopeful.

      As for comparing RCM to AYNIN…I don’t even think I can. To me, much of RCM doesn’t even sound like Duran’s music at all. The chords are different, the lyrics are very forced and not at all like Simon’s. John doesn’t even play bass on half of it. I know many will disagree, and that’s fine. There’s room for everyone, but for me personally – I can’t even begin to compare the two. AYNIN was written from a completely different place, attitude and spirit. I really hope the band doesn’t lose sight of all that they gained there. I know they like doing different things with each album and I very much respect that. I have to – there’s a reason I’ve been a fan for over thirty years, you know? However, I also believe that there’s space to not only acknowledge, but embrace and truly OWN the musical space that they’ve built. But, as always, we will have to wait and see. -R

  3. They have said they want this album to be a bit funkier. I am hoping we will see John return a bit to more of what we all love, as the last albums had SOME, but not enough of his heart and soul. (Safe stands out to me as a great example of one that did.) I like what I have heard them saying so far. I know Mark worked on some of thew album, even if they did scrap a bit of that early work. They brought in the choir, which I am really looking forward to hearing. I am wondering if it is going to be on a slower song to give it a haunting mood or more of a big song with a real full sound to it. Either way, I am really excited about that. This addition could prove to be an interesting one. Not sure how many songs he will be working on with them. As far as I am concerned, they can take all the time they need if they are really truly putting effort into this to create something new and fantastic. I DO wish they would leak us a few snippets, though. Just a small taste of SOMETHING.

    1. They really haven’t said too terribly much about the direction of the album, at least not in several months – aside from what Simon said recently about scrapping a lot of the material from early on. As I recall, Mark was only with them for a few days in the studio, so I really don’t know how much (if at all) he was involved. They’ve been very closed-mouthed about the process this time around, and perhaps it’s because it’s taken them a while to really feel right about direction, etc. I really don’t know. It’s nice to read/hear what’s going on in there, even if it’s just something small. Maybe some people don’t care about that, and I get it. Everyone is different. I just enjoy reading about something and then contemplating the possibilities. Usually I end up being 100% wrong, and yet I still enjoy trying. I enjoy the conversations. -R

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