We have arrived at the shortest song on Pop Trash, “Fragment”, which is an instrumental interlude lasting for a mere 49 seconds. Don’t yawn, because it may well be over by the time you’ve finished!
There is no easy way to say it – Fragment is likely my least favorite of all the Duran Duran short “interludes”. Artful rather than musical, experimental rather than mainstream; it is difficult to really ascertain what is being heard, By the time one recognizes that this is not just an intro, but is in fact *the song*, its short 49 seconds of infamy comes to an end. Nearly once on every album I have that moment where I wonder what in the hell Duran Duran was thinking – and this is that moment for Pop Trash, even surpassing my confusion with Hallucinating Elvis.
Properly describing what is heard is more difficult than reviewing it for me – it almost sounds like a section of string music being played backward several times, and while I don’t have any sort of affinity to the music, it is most certainly a fragment, indeed. I just don’t understand its purpose, except to possibly remind me that this album is indeed, an experiment, and this band, at its deepest and likely most meaningful root, is an art school project. After sitting here listening to it several times, I must admit that songs like this keep me guessing, and that intrigue keeps me coming back. Well played, Duran Duran.
Have I ever really listened to this song before? I’m certain that I have “heard” it a million times but have I ever really stopped to pay attention to it? Have you? I suspect that because it is so short, I haven’t given it much thought over the years. I feel kinda badly about that, actually. I really should have–just to be respectful, if nothing else.
So the title is “Fragment” and I think that fits. While I’m not sure exactly where or how the sound is produced, it feels to me as if someone took a fragment, a piece of something already done, separated it out and then played around with the sound. What if we add this effect? What if we repeat the sound? What if, what if, what if? To me, the most prominent sound or sort of instrumentation that I hear some sort of string being played with effects. Is there more to it? I’m absolutely sure. It reminds me a little of TV Mania, which makes sense as this is the era when that idea was born. It also reminds me a little of Nick’s latest side project, Astronomia. My point here is that it is all about experimentation and that definitely fits with other similar type projects focused on Nick’s musical creativity, shall we say.
At the end of the day, the big question I have is why include it. I can understand creating it. Maybe people were fooling around in the studio one day and thought it was super cool. I get that. Did they think it fit with the rest of Pop Trash? I’m not sure. Did they think it would make people stop and pay attention? Again, I have no clue. I know that I glossed over it for years so maybe not. It does make me wonder.
Overall, I find it interesting. It isn’t a song that I really like or choose to put on (that 49 seconds song length makes it tough) but I appreciate the thinking-outside-of-the-box quality.