Tag Archives: You Kill Me With Silence

Question of the Day: Sunday, February 5, 2017

Yesterday’s winner:  Red Carpet Massacre

Which song do you like better:  You Kill Me With Silence or A View to a Kill?

Question of the Day: Thursday, July 7, 2016

Yesterday’s winner:  Networker Nation

Which song would you rather have ADDED to the setlist:  You Kill Me with Silence or Face for Today?

I Am a Signal Somewhere in Your Bliss

I have a confession to make. It’s likely to get me into trouble in some circles (when am I not in trouble with someone out there??), but I’m going to share anyway.

I haven’t listened to Paper Gods since the beginning of November.

In my defense, I have a seven-year old. I know that doesn’t sound like much of an opening line – but wait!  When the album first came out, I listened to it day and night. Any time I was in the car it would be on, and when I was at home and could put in ear buds without fearing that the house would go up in smoke without my noticing, I’d be listening. I wrote blog after blog about the album. I wrote, changed my mind, and wrote again. And then my youngest started listening. She plays Minecraft in her spare time, and when she’s playing she listens to music. Admittedly I didn’t know this for a while (which is another blog for another day), but she found the album on YouTube and started playing it while she’d “craft”.  You can’t obviously see my dining room table right now, but I’m on one side of it and she sits at the very end of it, close enough so that I’m able to see what’s going on should I feel the need to intervene, or just remind her that “real life” is still going on around her. One day I was writing or working on something and all of a sudden I recognize that she’s humming and partially singing…and it is a song I know.  I stop and listen – she’s singing Last Night in the City (as apparently one does while they’re playing Minecraft).  My eyes got wider and wider as I listened. Not only does she know the words, she knows Kiesza’s part and isn’t afraid to belt it.

I should probably mention that my little one takes singing lessons, too. She’s in something similar to Glee (Yeah, I do question my own judgment sometimes…) so I get the joy of hearing them sing songs like “What Does the Fox Say” in their “Glee” sort of way each week. Nope, not kidding. (Again, the whole judgment thing…) So, as I take her to and from school twice a week and then when we go to singing, she has taken to requesting music be played as though I’m not only her chauffeur, but also her personal DJ.

So where was I? Oh yes, Paper Gods. It quickly grew from requesting one song to asking for many songs off the album – and not necessarily in the order presented. All day, every day, she would ask for “Last Night in the City” and “Pressure Off” to be played. Sometimes she’d request “What are the Chances”, and other times it would be “You Kill Me with Silence”. She’d groan at “Danceophobia” (Yes! She IS my child), and after about the 1,000,000th time I had to play “Pressure Off” for her, I decided I was finished. I needed a break. I needed to hear other music, for crying out loud – no offense to Duran Duran, but I was sick of it (and it takes a lot of nerve for me to admit that, but really – I needed a change of pace!) So, I told her no. (A collective gasp heard ’round the world falls over the crowd…) There would be no more mom playing DJ in the car. We were going to listen to other things. Period. She protested. I stood firm. She is obviously the better fan (but I have better tickets to the shows, so there!).  Only joking, people…and remember, she’s seven.

This continued for about a month. Until Monday night when she caught me at a low point. It had been a rough weekend, I was tired, and I just wanted to get home. She came bouncing out of Glee class as I dragged my mostly dead body to the car. She jumped in, buckled up (she never does anything quickly so this was unusual), I fell into my seat, threw my bag beside me, buckled the safety belt and started the car, sighing deeply as I considered what I was going to rush home to make for dinner. Just as I’d settled on the fact that I didn’t care, a small, ever-so-kind voice from the back of the car requested “Pressure Off”.

Part of me wanted to resist. But I was too tired. I gave in and put it on. After not hearing it for over a month, I’d forgotten how good it was. I still love the hook to pieces and I have it on good authority from my small passenger that Janelle Monáe is still “awesome”. (We live in California. Deal with it.)

Yesterday morning, we got into the car to head to school. We leave at traffic time, so we can count on the drive taking about an hour.  Gosh I love Southern California. My youngest knows the drive can be long, and quickly suggested every so casually that we listen to Paper Gods the entire way to school. “We can even listen to it YOUR way, Mommy.” (That means I start the CD – yes CD because my car is old and I hate screwing around with my phone and the audio jack and CDs sound better anyway – and we listen from start to finish. No repeats, no skipping around.)  Again, part of me resisted. I wanted to wait until after the first of the year and listen to it alone and see how I felt, but I gave in. (This kid has my number in the worst way. Tune in when she’s hit her teens and we’ll all see how this goes…)

A couple of observations:

  1. My little one has grown up with Duran Duran being constant in her life, even more so than my older two because I didn’t start blogging until just after the youngest was born.  She thinks she knows them even though her MOM doesn’t even know them. This is funny to me.

  2. My girl can sing, and it is nothing for her to hit and hold the high notes that Janelle and Kiesza hit.  Ah…youth.  🙂  She dearly loves Paper Gods though, and I appreciate that. You know that youth market DD was after?  Well…they overshot and got the seven year-old market hooked!  (I am joking. Mostly.)

  3. It had been quite a while since I’d heard the whole album and I was curious about how I’d feel after being away from it. Did I really love Paper Gods in the same way that I love Rio or the first album??  Paper Gods still presents a formidable challenge in that it really forces the listener to fully open up and push old perceptions of Duran Duran aside. It’s not like anything else they’ve done, collectively speaking, yet it’s still them. Does that make it well-loved, or does it make it an album that I will continue to appreciate and grow with over time, but maybe not one that I grab immediately when I think of Duran Duran?

I put the album aside again for a while, figuring that after the holidays, I’m going to sit down and give it a dedicated listen,  hopefully without my little back-up singer so that I can concentrate. (I don’t dare say that to her!) I’m curious to see how I feel about it after more time away, and I’m wondering if others have done similar – either with this album or others.  Chime in if you care to share!

-R

Question of the Day: Saturday, November 7, 2015

Yesterday’s winner:  Paper Gods

Which song do you like better?

Paper Gods: Can’t Stop Believing

Today is October 6, and that means it’s 4  5 (I am so sorry that I cannot seem to add simple numbers after 11pm at night, which is when I wrote this.) days shy of the first month that Paper Gods has been available.

What a month it has been. Truly.

As everyone has likely already read on this very blog, Paper Gods was not an immediate “love at first listen” for me. I really needed to allow the music to sit and percolate. I needed to pick out elements that I really enjoyed, and give myself permission to take the time necessary for Paper Gods to take ME on a journey.

Let me be clear: I am not a patient person. It is my biggest fault, by far. I expect things to happen instantly. I’m not one to want to wait for much of anything, and unfortunately sometimes – Duran Duran ends up bearing the brunt of that impatience. I shared my experiences with the album as they happened at the time, but I never really came back and explained that after giving the album some much-needed listening, I dearly love Paper Gods.

It seems strange to type that now, nearly a month into an album’s release, but it’s true. It is really difficult to put my journey into words that make sense here, but I’ll try. Like most anything the band has ever done, Paper Gods isn’t a one-listen, throw away album.  It has depth that goes far beyond the words or music, and I should have realized that was going to happen based on the cover art alone.

In a lot of ways, I’m kind of glad I didn’t fall into immediate love with the album. I really like that Paper Gods challenged my ears, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. It isn’t enough to just sit down and pop the CD into a player or hit your iTunes icon. In order to get something out of it, you’ve got to really listen in the same way that I think in order to understand the full breadth of the band’s career – you’ve got to really be willing to look beyond the pinups and videos. I appreciate that the band, and particularly this album, have forced me to think. I’ve needed to pull the band out of the box and off of the pedestal I previously had them, which overall has been a good thing.  Let me give you just a few examples:

Danceophobia was by far the one song off this album that I just could not digest. Yes, the Lindsay Lohan thing really bugged me. It still does to a large extent. That said, it is so much fun live!!! The first night I saw, I couldn’t even move. I just stood there, watching the band. I won’t lie – I wanted to see them SELL IT.  If they really wanted me to like it, then they had better fucking bring it BIG time. I didn’t want a repeat of other songs off of other albums that I won’t even mention here. I wanted to see the band love the song at least as much as they expected us to do. Well, John Taylor danced like a crazy man, and Dom “co-writer of Danceophobia” Brown (shout out to my dear friend CK for constantly reminding me of that fact over the past several weeks) couldn’t seem to stand still either.  I marveled at the scene as my foot started to tap on its own. (dammit!) Then there’s Jessie, the new backup singer, who has more energy than an entire AUDIENCE of Duranies. I’ll say this much: she’s a much better doctor than Lindsay. Big controversial name on the album or not, the song has become one of the most fun in  Duran Duran’s live show, and dammit (again) – I danced. I DANCED. It’s just a silly dance song, and that’s OK.  Not every song they do has to be deep and insightful. Some songs can just be shallow, fun, and tongue-in-cheek. Yes, the band sold it. More importantly, they sold it to ME.  I can’t fight that. (Don’t even bother emailing me your “I told you so’s” CK….)

In some of the early reviews Amanda and I did, I wondered out loud about the album feeling so electronic. It’s something that I’ve heard a lot out of the mouths of a lot of fans, including my own from time to time. Is that really all that fair, though?  I’m not quite so sure. The album still has guitar, PLENTY of bass and a ton of drums. Just because they aren’t necessarily served up in the same way as All You Need is Now doesn’t mean they aren’t there…and this just goes back to taking the band out of the box we’ve been keeping them in. It’s not fair to them, and it is definitely not fair to our own ears or heart. For weeks I sat by my stereo, thinking to myself that I really liked what I heard, but then I’d second and third guess myself by thinking about the lack of whatever it was I thought I needed at the time. The point is that it’s all still there…and if you haven’t grabbed a copy of Bass Player magazine (you know the one, with JT on the cover), you probably should. Many of my concerns, and likely yours too, are addressed in there. The real difference with this album that I believe 100% is that the band is totally behind it. They made their own choices with the instrumentation – and I refuse to fault them for that. In fact, I applaud them.

I’ve seen a few of the songs live at this point: “Pressure Off”, “Paper Gods”, “Last Night in the City”, “Danceophobia”, “You Kill Me With Silence” and “What are the Chances.” That’s half of the regular album, and they haven’t even started the “real” tour yet! I won’t lie: I wanted to see what, if anything, changed with the band as they played from this album live. I wanted to see if they were still one cohesive unit. Let me tell you: they are all that and then some. Sure, there are some songs that require John on synth bass and Dom is in the back because the guitar isn’t quite as up front. There are songs where Roger’s drums – which are in fact STILL drums, thank you – are mostly electronic. There are also songs where everyone is nearly all over that stage, like “Last Night in the City”- you can’t help but dance to that one, and I challenge any EDM fan to stand still – it cannot be done. There are songs such as “What Are the Chances”,  when Dom lights up the entire theatre with his work. Make no mistake, he has made that song his very own at this point. When they play “You Kill Me With Silence”, you can feel the bass coming up right through the floor and it puts me on pins and needles in a way no other piece of music has ever done.  This band has made it a point to learn to play this music for the live show. Don’t miss out on the chance to see or hear any of that.

Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time should know that Amanda and I are “thinking” people. We really enjoy reading the lyrics, looking at the art work, watching the videos and analyzing how they all work together to create an overall picture. I think the one thing I love most about Paper Gods is that, like an onion, there are so many different layers. I can’t take the music at face value any more than I should take the cover. When you listen to the songs – it might be really easy to write them off as pure pop. They’re so much more than that once you add in the words, and when you start considering that some of the songs with the most depth are also done with a lot of synth, it’s an interesting sort of dynamic. Just as the cover is far more than a bunch of stickers put up on a backdrop, the album is far more than just some EDM or pop. You don’t actually HEAR that on the first listen, it takes much more attention than just one listen. If you take the album as a whole, you start getting the feeling that this album is an overall look at the career of the band. From “Paper Gods,” a song all about the materialistic nature of our society – using a term that could easily be applied to the band themselves, to “Last Night in the City, ” a tune that is truly about touring, to “Face for Today,” which really seems to be a good bit of advice to today’s young celebrities, on to “Only in Dreams,” which seems to echo some of the feelings a lot of fans have about the band…and finally “The Universe Alone,” which really seems to describe the end. I dare say that the album starts to feel just a bit like a loosely held concept album.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this band is so much smarter than any of us have ever given them credit for.

We waited a long, long, time for this album – and I’m telling you as a fellow fan, it was worth every single second of the wait. Give it many proper, thorough listens from start to finish. There’s a story in there, waiting to be discovered.

-R

 

 

 

 

Duran Duran at Jimmy Kimmel!

I’ll let you in on a little secret, Duran Duran fans: never wear skinny jeans to a show in 90 degree + heat.  Just a tip.

The time in the dreaded GA for the Jimmy Kimmel backlot concert (but “preferred GA of course, thanks to MasterCard) line went fast, although there were a couple of points where I felt like I needed to sit just because of the heat…and I live in Southern California! (albeit farther south and much closer to the coast!) My fellow line-dwellers and I passed the time talking about the band, of course, and musing about the shows to come.  We saw the band arrive in their customary black SUV (hope I’m not giving much away there), and was treated to sound check, where we soon realized we were going to hear “You Kill Me With Silence” later on. Our line was formed outside of the fence to the backlot, and chain link on the fence was mostly blocked by plastic, but in between sections there were gaps that worked beautifully for catching glimpses. We were able to see that Mr. Hudson was going to join the band onstage, for instance…and then there was that moment that we saw Simon strip off his t-shirt.

So, back to the line…

At about 5:30 (an hour later than we’d been told), we were allowed onto the backlot and found spaces by the stage. My choice in spots is still the topic of discussion amongst friends today because rather than make a beeline for Dom’s area of the stage, which I wholeheartedly admit is my typical first choice, I took a spot at about third “row” directly in front of Simon. I don’t know why I did that, except that I wasn’t with Amanda, I figured I’d get the whole scene that way, and honestly – there seemed to be more room in front of Simon’s microphone.  Go figure. After waiting for what felt like forever (I had forgotten how much my lower back hurts while waiting in GA!), we had some dude from the show come out and try to warm up the crowd and explain how it all was going to go.

Not long after that, the show started. And as always, this is where things start to get fuzzy for me. I blame John Taylor for that, because he came out to the front of the stage and genuinely smiled. Like anyone who has ever seen John up close, I was convinced he smiled at me. Yes, there were 500 people in the crowd. No, don’t try to talk sense into me. I write a blog, remember?  Good sense left my body a LONG time ago.

Rather than attempt to write my way through the show, I’m going to try to cover this by bullet point summary:

The Band:

They all looked great. I will applaud the rhinestoned jacket on John, the mouth shirt and black/white leather jacket on Simon, and yes, Dom’s polka dot shirt (that collar had to have been hot though,  it was fully buttoned!)  I won’t lie, I can’t remember what Nick or Roger wore. My excuse is that they are only out front for a very short period of time, and let’s face it, I stood there for several minutes just coming to terms with the idea that I was there, they were in front of me, and I was about to hear some Duran.

Set list:

The band played six songs: Pressure Off, Last Night in the City, You Kill Me With Silence, Hungry Like the Wolf, Save a Prayer and Sunrise. They went back and did several of them more than once to account for lyrical cough, cough errors and whatever else the band felt they needed to correct.

As an aside, I was treated to Hungry Like the Wolf not just once, but twice (did they know I was there or something?!?) The first time, I didn’t see it coming when Simon asked the crowd if we’d been fed, and then launched into “Is anybody hungry?” I groaned, and then, remembering that this was for TV, I cheered and sang right along with everyone else….and then did it all again.  Yay!!

Back Up Singers:

This was the first time I’d seen Jessie and Anna together live. In a lot of ways, I think it’s good for Anna to have someone to work with, because maybe it gives her a little more energy. I don’t love the current stage set up with the platforms that line the back of the stage, though. It’s very linear, and I don’t know why – but it bugs me. Jessie and Anna are off to one side, and while I was concerned that they’d be stuck back there, they do come to the front of the stage for various songs. They also have every song completely choreographed which really reminded me of the Big Thing era, and I’m not sure I like that. I tend to prefer the more natural movements of when Anna was alone with the band, overall that time felt far more organic and more like a family or team atmosphere rather than a staged production.

Mr. Hudson:

Ben was present for this show, and from what I could tell – he was there to play guitar. This puzzles me, and I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. When I realized he was there, I thought perhaps they were going to play “Paper Gods”, but that didn’t seem plausible for this show. Then he came out during You Kill Me With Silence, and took Dom’s spot on stage. That doesn’t mean Dom wasn’t still on the stage – he was, but he moved further back while Mr. Hudson played and sang on the microphone. It just seemed strange. There was absolutely no interaction between Mr. Hudson and Dom, which is completely unlike what I’ve seen with Dom and any other guest artist the band has ever had on stage with them, including Mark Ronson and Nile Rodgers – two HUGE names. To be completely honest, Dom looked bored stiff and awkward during the song. There just doesn’t SOUND like there’s enough guitar to go around, and if the band’s goal is to make sure fans understand in these moments that Dom is not a valued member of the stage band (at the very least), it’s working.  That’s unfortunate, because on any other song the band does, you can see the love and affection they seem to have for one another. I like Mr. Hudson, don’t get me wrong, but there was no chemistry, no playing off of one another, and instead it felt very much as though Dom was just some guy in the background playing back up to a producer that none of us really know.

Overall, the band played a good show at Jimmy Kimmel last night and it was a taster of what is to come. I’m looking forward to the next three shows with my partner-in-crime, as fun as last night was, it’s never the same without Amanda (even though she is threatening to make me stand alone at GA shows from now on).

Road trip!!!

-R

Steppin’ Out with Paper Gods

In preparation for tomorrow’s release of Paper Gods, we decided to offer our own quick “shot” in summation for each song.  Rest assured that at some point not far in the future, we will write full Daily Duranie song reviews with cocktail ratings to match, but until then, enjoy our Daily Duranie “Happy Hour”, and have some shots on us!

Paper Gods

Rhonda:

I tried to prepare myself for what Paper Gods could possibly sound like, and even then – I couldn’t have been farther off. I’m still stumbling over myself to try to fully absorb this song, but one thing is sure: these lyrics have the depth and emotion I’ve been craving. 

Amanda:

This song is one of three songs that we did a video review for when it first was made available.  My thoughts about it haven’t really changed.  I appreciate that this song is like the anti-single, the anti-radio focused track as it doesn’t follow much when it comes to standard radio friendly tracks.  It is long, has frequent changes and just seems unpredictable.  I like all that and I like that they just embraced the art, for art sake on this one, and added a social commentary on top of that.

Last Night in the City

Rhonda:

If there were ever a party song…or a to fully describe a road trip with Amanda & Rhonda…this is it. I know plenty of people have a love/hate relationship with EDM, and I’ve got to be honest…I just don’t care. It took me more than one listen to get into this song, but once I finally stopped trying to cram Duran Duran into the “box” that held them in the 80’s,  I couldn’t stop myself from wiggling in my chair or bobbing my head as I listened. That’s all that matters.

Amanda:

I’ll be completely honest with this song.  When I first heard it, I told Rhonda that it reminded me of a bad, meat market type club that I would never want to go to.  It didn’t sound or feel like Duran, initially, to me.  It is very electronic and I missed the feel of organic instrumentation.  Then, at the same time, Rhonda and I realized that the lyrics describe what it is like for us when we are on tour.  It is that complete focus on having fun and connecting.  The female vocals just makes me connect to the song even more.  Now, I still think the song is very different from what I think of when I think Duran but it is super fun and has become a favorite on the album.

You Kill Me With Silence

Rhonda:

So, we did already do a video review of this song, which were our first impressions. I had difficulty with the chorus/verse changes and felt it really watered down the song. That said, I must admit this one is slowly growing on me. On one hand, it’s like Simon LeBon lives in my head and I thank him for putting my feelings into words. On the other hand, this song has just enough darkness for me to make it interesting. Who doesn’t love that Nick Rhodes solo at the end? Come on now!

Amanda:

Again, this is one of the songs that we reviewed earlier in video format.  Like Paper Gods, my feelings about it haven’t changed that much.  One change is that I might not be as critical of the chorus now that I have gotten more used to it.  That said, I’m still struggle a little. Perhaps, the subject matter is partly to blame for that.  I have a hard time really loving a song with the focus of emotional abuse in relationships. 

Pressure Off

Rhonda:

I’m always amazed by the responses out there in the fan community. To me, this is the easiest song on the album to fall in love with, and I still say this has the strongest hook I’ve heard in a Duran Duran song since the 80’s. To others, “this is like listening to Simon sing High School Musical.”   If the band wanted me to dance, this was the way to do it! The one thing that has changed for me since I first heard is that it sounds nothing like the rest of the album, and as a result it is (still) a standout! 

Amanda:

In many ways, now that I have heard the album as a whole, this song doesn’t match the feel of much of the rest.  That said, it is still a favorite.  To me, the instrumentation feels very Duran and the lyrics are just fun.  I know that some have criticized all of the “oh”s in the chorus but that even feels Duran-like (Hungry Like the Wolf, anyone??).  This is one that I’m very much looking forward to hearing live!

Face For Today

Rhonda:

Maybe I lied about Pressure Off being the easiest song to love on this album… The truth is, I really like this song too. It’s very “Duran Duran”, complete with the stacked harmonies and soaring chorus…I just wish (and this goes for the entire album) that they’d create more of a balance with their instrumentation. There, I said it. Done.

Amanda:

I enjoyed this one as soon as I heard it as it is easy to like. Right away, I found the lyrics swimming around in my head as I tried to figure out what the heck it is about. Quickly, I began to feel that this was the band giving advice and well wishes to those young and super popular bands now. This added some depth to the song.

Danceophobia

Rhonda:

The tune is slightly catchy while the lyrics are very elementary. The addition of Lindsay Lohan does absolutely nothing to add to the song particularly when it’s clear she is having difficulty not laughing while “singing” the last portion of the song after her dreadful spoken part.  On the upside, it does add something to the album that magazine editors and trash TV “celeb” news shows LOVE to dish on. Cringe-worthy at best.

Amanda:

It seems to me with many of these tracks I had strong reactions as soon as I heard them.  For some, it was an instant like and others I had to hope that the song would grow on me.  It did for Last Night in the City but…I am not as successful with this one.  I start to get passed the silly lyrics and non-Duran music then Lohan comes in.  I just don’t think her part works.  Is she supposed to be taken seriously?  Is it supposed to be funny?  Sexy?  I just don’t get it.

What Are the Chances

Rhonda:

I fell in love with this song as soon as I heard it. As I said on Twitter, there’s only ONE thing wrong with this song, and it’s that Dom Brown isn’t playing the lead guitar part. I don’t know if I’ll ever quite forgive them. That said, I’m pretty sure I’ll forget all about this small oversight should they play this live with Dom playing the part that should have been his to begin with.  PS – These lyrics? Really??? Beautifully done.

Amanda:

This isn’t my usual song to gravitate towards.  I am much more of an up tempo, rocking out sort of person.  I have gotten bored over many of the more ballad type songs in Duran’s catalog over the years.  Yet, this isn’t really that.  It does have a “bigger than normal” sort of feel like an Ordinary World has with some really great lines in the lyrics that will keep me interested for years to come.

Sunset Garage

Rhonda:

When someone is able to tell me what a Sunset Garage is, I will be much better able to talk about this song. Until then, I’m still struck by how “not” Duran Duran this song really is…and how much I enjoy it, even though I still see the Brady Bunch “Silver Platter” episode in my head as it plays. Definitely a tune for a summer night taking a drive along the coast. Gonna keep on, keep on…. (if you don’t get the reference, click here)

Amanda:

This is a song that simply had not hit me.  It isn’t one that has created strong emotion in me, either super positive or super negative.  The song has left me more puzzled than anything else.  I don’t understand the message.  I will be interested to see if this one grows on me after time.

Change the Skyline

Rhonda:

From the first sounds of the synth intro, I think it’s pretty clear this isn’t your average Duran Duran tune. I can’t help but think about how this song might have sounded with Brandon Flowers…but Jonas Bjerre does a good job. This is a song that I’m still trying to hash out and find a comfy spot, but there’s a lot going on here to like. 

Amanda:

This is the one track that got lost when listening to the album.  I’m not sure why with that chorus.  At first, I wasn’t sure about having Jonas Bjerre on this track.  Yet, his vocals and the song is starting to grow on me.  I’m starting to pay more and more attention to it, which is leading to greater appreciation.  It is one that I’m anxious to take the time to really read and digest the lyrics. 

Butterfly Girl

Rhonda:

The best part of this song for me is that Anna Ross is featured, and I love her. She brings an energy that this song was crying for, and I can hardly wait to hear them play this song live. Oh yes, the guitar. It’s good even if it’s not Dom (but he is going to blow the audience away with this live)…and there’s only one kind of happy in a glass of wine. (we all learn something from Duran Duran, don’t we?)

Amanda:

This is one of my favorite tracks on the album.  Like Last Night in the City, I love the additional female vocal (Go Anna!) and I usually don’t go for female vocals.  Musically, the song grabs me but more than that is the picture of this girl that is created.  She seems so specific and, yet, so universal.  I think many people can relate.  Goodness knows that I certainly do.  What more can you ask for?

Only In Dreams

Rhonda:

This song starts off reminding me of Before the Rain, and then very quickly turns into this gorgeous dream-like scene. Definitely a favorite of mine on the album. Simon sings like it’s a lullaby (and I really want to know who is on backup vocals…), and I love the calm that comes over me until the funk hits after the intro. Then I’m completely in it for the long haul. Vampires, limousines, reminds me of some elements of fandom…and no, I don’t want to wake up. 

Amanda:

Like the previous song, this is another favorite.  I love the opening which reminds me of Before the Rain.  Of course, it quickly changes to something else completely different.  Then, there are more changes as the song moves further along.  I love all of the changes.  Even more importantly than that, I love the lyrics.  There are so many great lines in this one and as a whole it really feels like Simon is describing fandom.  With good times in fandom, it is like being in a dream that you don’t want to wake up from!

The Universe Alone

Rhonda:

Here’s the thing: this song is pure Duran Duran genius from start to finish. It is also the darkest and deepest song on the album. I listen and get this scary sense of foreboding that makes the hair on my neck stand up and my emotions run way high every time I listen. I’d forgotten that Duran Duran can write like this – appealing to the modern sound they strive for,  with some of the deepest writing (both music and lyrics) I’ve heard them do in decades. Well done, Duran Duran, you’ve managed to make me extremely uncomfortable (as all art should!) AND love the song at the same time. Thumbs way, way, up.  

Amanda:

The first and only word that comes to mind when I hear this song is haunting.  It feels like goodbye.  I don’t know if it is the end of the world type goodbye or individuals leaving a huge chapter in their lives but it definitely feels like closure of some sort.  The first line really sets the tone about how there can be beauty within dying.  That said, it isn’t an easy song to want to listen to because it creates so many uncomfortable feelings in me.  Despite that, I adore the ending with the distortion followed by the beautiful chorus.

 

We can’t wait to read your own thoughts as you listen to the album yourselves. It took both of us some time to adjust to the new sounds and feelings, and as you can see – we’re still adjusting, but we welcome the challenge. We also congratulate the band and look forward to seeing them LIVE in the coming weeks!!

-A&R

Countdown to Paper Gods – THREE!!

We are seriously down to just 72 little hours to go before Paper Gods is released!! Can you deal with it?!?  (If you don’t know where that last line came from, your assignment for today includes listening to Liberty again.)

I’m getting fairly good at handing out homework and assignments, as today begins homeschool for my second grader, so now I’m teaching high school and elementary school. (Admittedly the high schooler is far more independent so planning for him isn’t that difficult!) However, since we are on this “homework” theme this week, I have some for all of you today as well! (Can You Deal With It aside…)

We have had five songs already released from Paper Gods, and I’m not seeing NEARLY enough about them on social media. So, let’s blitz all social media today and get them out there! Your task is to share each of the five songs.  Let’s get them trending!!!   If we want this album heard ’round the world…it’s gonna take all of us to make it happen, so get going!

Pressure Off

Paper Gods

You Kill Me With Silence

What are the Chances

Last Night in the City

 

Let’s get the music out there…share and encourage your friends and followers to pass it on!

-R

Countdown to Paper Gods – NINE!!!

Nine days!

I am not even completely sure what day of the week it is, but I know I’ve got nine days to go until Paper Gods can be held and loved by all…. We won’t discuss my priorities, but can we talk lyrics today?!?

Rest assured, I am not going to post lyrics to unheard songs…but what about the lyrics to the songs the band has already released? Another effective way to spend time before Paper Gods is released would be to read the lyrics and memorize them, so that way when that wonderful day arrives that you’re at a Duran show, you know the words and can belt ’em right along with the band!

Disclaimer: Since these lyrics are not from liner notes or the band’s website, they are a “best guess” by whomever took the time to transcribe them. I am not certifying that they are 100% correct, or that I personally checked them…and I definitely am not responsible for words that may not sound like words  (“hotting”)….I don’t write the lyrics, I just post ’em. 

Paper Gods

(chanted by Mr. Hudson)
Oh, the paper gods in the sky of gray
All the fools in town are ruling today, today

(Simon)
Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Hey, you’re gonna want it all the talking man declares
Go running to be first in line for what nobody cares!
Then next thing you must have find piece with matching bag
It’s nothing to be glad about or sad when you forget about it
I’d rather racing or go run around the streets (not sure of this line)
The slaver in a sweatshop,
Putting trainers on your feet
I’m walking through the rain, oblivious to pain
To shelter from the blame without a reason to complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, don’t complain about it
Oh oh oh, forget about it
Oh oh oh oh

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

She’s staring out in underwear from your computer screen
It’s all self-dirty cash we can wash it clean (??)
So hang it out online, confess and you feel fine
and if you got the time to spare we want to know
Which name you’re wearing
And when the final curtain finally comes down
We’ll all be in the party room no wiser as to how
The total human race, became a basket case
It’s nothing to lose face about,
It’s really not a place to doubt it

Bow to the paper gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, money for head shots
Fools leading
Who needs it?

Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down
Paper gods falling down
paper house, paper town
Paper gods falling down
paper world is falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down, falling down

Bow to the paper Gods in a world that is paper-thin,
Fools in town are ruling now
Bleeding from paper cuts, they go for the money shot
The fools leading
Who needs them?

all the paper gods, in a sky of grey

all the fools in town, are ruling today, today

(fade out)

Last Night in the City

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night. Yeah, living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow

I’m not thinking ‘bout the future (the future)
it’s somewhere out there
We’re all busy being human (human)
we remember
Hearts beating all around me (together)
now, they’re surrounding me
This is how we get connected,
running out the shadows into light

We gonna live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night
Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’ve been traveling around now
big world, with my brothers
Always moving to a new town,
no time to put the roots down
We can’t stop believing (can’t stop)
no we believe in you
Cuz when you’re standing in the spotlight
the only thing that matters is tonight

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

I’m not gonna sleep tonight, til the morning fills the sky
No ones getting left behind, this our time, this our time

We gotta live this night, yeah,
living like it’s our last night

Cuz nobody cares, if there’s no tomorrow
We gotta love this night, yeah,
loving like it’s our last night

Stars up in the air, oh yeah,
it’s our last night in the city

Yeah, last night in the city
Yeah, last night in the city

You Kill Me With Silence
Your thin ice,
I should be on solid ground
And oh so quiet vice,
I can hear that cracking sound
But I remain,
despite your deadly aim
To drive another lad insane
When you won’t speak,
my name

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl, you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason you’re in control (you’re in control)
It’s emotional violence I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

True to life,
things are hotting up in here  

If I had a knife,
you could cut the atmosphere

Something else,
I like this bed of nails

That’s what I tell myself
Couldn’t be much worse
in hell

You kill me with silence
That’s your style girl you’re letting me know
This deafening silence, the only reason that you’re in control
It’s an emotional violence, I can’t breathe now but I can’t let go
You kill me with silence

Pressure Off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

The past is another country
The present will never last
The future it’s still tomorrow
Are we living too fast
Searchlight the crowd I fix on your face
I know it well, but it’s a dream I can’t place
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping stepping stepping
It’s time to take the pressure off

We’re swimming with the rat-race
We’re running against the tide
And it’s every-body’s business
When there’s nowhere to hide
Searchlight the crowd I’m fixed onto you
There is a way out of this into the blue
Something is happening to me
Maybe it’s happening to you, you, you, you

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off

Stepping out, stepping out, stepping out; jumping off X3
Pressure off, pressure off; pressure, pressure, pressure off

I’m lost don’t wanna be found
I’m not gonna be down be down
Outside looking into myself
Just me I couldn’t be anyone else
Is it bad when you’re feeling this good?
Are we all misunderstood?
It’s fine going out of my mind, going out of my mind, going out of my mind

Everybody everywhere
Feel it in the air, oh yeah
It’s time to take the pressure off
Everybody everywhere
Step out into the future
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now
It’s time to take the pressure off
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh it’s up to you now

Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future
Jump off into the future
Step out into the future

What Are the Chances?

Any other day and you might’ve gone walking by
Without a second look
Any other way but I’m still mystified
I’m just trying to change my luck
Staring out the world and waiting for the one
But the world won’t look away
The world does not explain

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances

Playing with your life or is it destiny
Which sets you on a path
Is it out of choice that you’re here next to me
Or just the aftermath
Of moments as they pass

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

So…what are the chances?
We’ll never know
If we take it for granted
A diamond explodes
What are the chances
We are lost in the flow
And looking for answers

Alright, you’ve got the lyrics, I’ve assigned homework….and we’ve got nine days left.

Only nine.  Nine feels a lot more reasonable than say, 1,095 days, yes?  (Interestingly enough, it will have been just over that amount – 1,109 to be exact, between the day the tour ended in 2012 abruptly due to Nick’s illness and release day for Paper Gods)

(and yes, I am a little embarrassed that I spent time figuring that out. I need a vacation.)

Cheers! -R

Bonding with Paper Gods

Lately I have come to the realization that there are remarkably few songs that I fall in love with immediately….”love at first listen”, so to speak. I don’t know if it has always been that way and I’m just now noticing; or if it is that my tastes have changed, my condition more stringent, and it just takes much more to impress me.

I’ve sat back over the past couple of weeks, eyeballing Twitter and Facebook, observing comments that many fans have excitedly and/or begrudgingly posted about the new material. I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum and everything in-between, feelings ranging from disgust to euphoria. Publicly, four songs have been released with eight more to eventually arrive. We’re sixteen days away from release of Paper Gods, and the general mood amongst fans is that of anticipation, whether anxious or otherwise.

I share in that anticipation to some extent, as I wait to see what others think of the album in full. In the meantime, I’ve been listening, digesting, contemplating and coming back around for more. I can’t lie, it’s been a struggle….a term I’ve used a lot lately while discussing Paper Gods amongst friends.

Let me put it another way: for me, Paper Gods is a bit like a newborn baby. When you’re a parent, you’re given this infant and, as nature goes, parents are expected to love and care for it. That feeling is inherent as you stare down at that wiggly little bundle, but the whole experience feels foreign. It is assumed that love is immediate, but I can say that at least for myself, it was something that needed to grow over time. Those bonds aren’t quite there yet, other than what you know you’re supposed to have.

Right now, that’s exactly where I’m at with this album. There are elements I really like. Songs I actually enjoy. Then I start really listening and wondering where in the hell the bass REALLY is (I know, I know, there’s a lot of synthesized bass on the album), and why there’s not more “real” Roger…and don’t even get me started on guitar…or more precisely, who SHOULD be playing guitar. Then I start feeling like I’ve completely missed something somewhere. This is a band that likes to reinvent themselves with each album. I prepare myself, as best as I can, to keep an open mind with every single release. It’s not easy. My gut reaction with hearing “You Kill Me With Silence” simply is not the same as when I hear “Girl Panic”, for instance.  When I listen to “Pressure Off”, I start feeling those warm fuzzies and continue to look for more with other songs off of the album.  The more I listen to “What Are the Chances”, the more I fall in love with everything from lyrics to guitar. Then I remember that Dom isn’t even playing the guitar, and I feel guilty as hell…but then I remember Dom is listed as co-writer and I start to feel at least a little better. (I am begging you, Duran Duran – please play this live and let the boy play it!!!)  There are quite a few of those moments throughout the album for me.

For me, instrumentation matters. I fell in love with a five-piece band. Drums, bass, guitar, keyboards and vocalist. When I listen to their music, I want to hear those elements. I’ve seen many people compare this album to others in the past – and even Nick himself mentions Red Carpet Massacre. Amanda and I have kind of dubbed this album “RCM-lite”, because many of those elements are contained within Paper Gods, but for us it is a much more palatable album overall. It’s still Duran Duran somewhere in there…and we didn’t find that as much with RCM. John Taylor mentions in a couple of interviews lately that for him, it was about finding where to fit in (something he also said about RCM). He says that current, modern music doesn’t really have traditional bass, so he looked to using more of a synthetic bass. Roger, someone who I think is completely open to whatever has to happen and making it work, used a stick with his bass drum at some point or another on this album. There is also a ton of electronic drums and perhaps a drum machine in there somewhere. I guess for me, it comes down to the fact that the Duran Duran I know and love uses traditional instruments right alongside the synthesizers and keyboards. I don’t know if that is always made clear on this album. The mix throughout the entire album really leans heavily towards the electronic end in many ways, which screws with my own perception. A lot of what my ears hear is Simon and Nick with whatever guest they happen to have playing with them at the time, and yet my heart and head know John and Roger (and Dom, thankyouverymuch) should be there somewhere. My hope is that while playing live, they’re all there front and center, running wild and free. No guesswork, ear buds, or fancy headphones needed.

I look forward to breathing in the excitement as the opening notes begin and the screams release the nervous anticipation, just like an uncorked champagne bottle. We will celebrate the release of this album, welcome the band back to us, and revel in the moment.  Songs that we may have once questioned will become familiar, and those wonderful bonds will become second nature, adding another album to the soundtrack of our lives.

-R