On to track two from Astronaut! This song was produced by the five original members of Duran Duran, along with Dallas Austin, one of the producers they worked with for this album. This track was given a final polish by Don Gilmore at Sphere Studios after they had been signed to Epic Records for a four-album deal in June of 2004. Please note: This is Rhonda’s final review. It seems clear that many people like the reviews and I will aim to keep them going, in some way.
It has been awhile since I last listened to Astronaut, not to mention “Want You More”. It is a song that I always felt had the potential to rock, if it hadn’t been for all of the electronic effect that covers much of the guitar. Despite that, it is also a song that gets my toes tapping and my head bobbing. Musically, I love the guitar. It has been a long time since we’ve had a strong lead guitar on a DD album, and I have to admit that it was one thing I was really looking for with this album. I think there is a definite power play in progress between Andy wanting an upfront guitar and Nick preferring it to be kept more in the background, but on this song – if you really listen – it is back there, forcing its way to be heard. On the other hand, there are *so* many electronics going on here, it’s a bit much. Some of it is fantastic, but a lot of it just seems to fill the space, and I don’t know that it was necessarily always needed. It was as though someone in Duran Duran wanted to make sure we remembered that the synthesizers would be doing the driving and leading. Another element that I feel sometimes lacks on this album, and definitely this song, would the bass. It is so hidden deep in the mix on this song – and I think in many ways the song could have used the bass to really anchor the song. I can hear it really come out about 2/3 of the way through the song, but I think the sound suffered from having that sonic “floor”. Finally, I’ll just say – thank goodness Roger Taylor is back, sounding stronger than ever!!
There were some serious effects used on Simon’s vocals. It’s such a great song, and I think the use of echo and what I believe to be some serious autotune just sort of turns it a bit cartoon-y. The effects end up making his voice sound thinner than I know it to be, and definitely more so than I’ve ever heard him sound live. As a whole, the album tends to use a lot of effect and over-production, in a likely attempt to make the sound more modern and relevant as the band attempted to break back onto charts with the original members – and I think in many ways it came off as though they were trying to force it rather than just letting it all happen naturally. Sometimes when you try too hard, it just ends up sounding overdone. Again, I love the song. It gets my head moving and toes tapping for sure, but I can also hear how it misses the mark.
Whenever I start a review and re-listen to a song, I immediately decide which camp a song is going to go in: Fun/likable or Artistic. I think it is pretty rare and special when a song fit both “I really want to listen to it” and “it is top notch in terms of art/genius.” Anyway, this song is definitely in the fun to listen to category. If the music didn’t let me know that, the lyrics would. Clearly, this song was just meant to create a good time. I remember watching those old Astronaut DVDs and comments about how they were trying to turn the studio into a nightclub and this is the song I imagine they were referencing. After all, it is electronic, upbeat, easy to sing and dance to and full of sound that one cannot escape.
Musically, this song screams electronic but you can hear the other instruments if you try. In particular, the guitar has its brief, subdued moments but even within those moments, you can tell that the dance, electronic elements take the lead. In addition, there is a lot of extra effects thrown in, which keep the listener’s attention and adds to the dominance of the keyboards. While all of that creates a fun, danceable atmosphere, it can also feel like a wall of sound, which is almost too much. I suspect that a lot of that has to do with overproduction.
As for the lyrics, I have a confession to make. This song has always reminded me of JoSi. I’m sure that most/many/almost all of you know what I’m talking about. I’m referencing those moments on the stage (and off) between John and Simon that make many people swoon, wondering if there is more there than just a strong friendship. The lyrics match this idea pretty well. JoSi was a much bigger topic of discussion during the reunion era and I suspect that the band knew this and played it up, consciously or otherwise. Anyway, my point is simple. The lyrics enhance the fun, good time vibe of the music and it certainly feels like it captured the feeling around Duranland at the time. Vocally, I’m not so sure that Simon’s vocals are the best ever. While there is nothing wrong exactly, there is a sense that there is an adjustment being made in order to fit. The vocals just don’t feel quite right.
All in all, the song is fun and captures the vibe that many had during the reunion. That being said, some of the elements to make it sound like a party, also detract due to the forced nature of the vocals, the additional effects, overproduction, to name a few.