These are fabulously phony times, and that’s just fine with Duran Duran. On their 14th studio album, Britain’s original bubble-gum post-punk heartthrobs note, and even revel in, the absurdity, celebrating the moment with futuristic disco-melters like “Last Night in the City” and “Dancephobia.” The latter features Lindsay Lohan as -- get this -- a doctor; if not for Janelle Monae and guitarist/co-producer Nile Rodgers, who help Duran get Daft Punky on “Pressure Off,” the embattled starlet might win best-guest honors. Elsewhere, British producer/Kanye West collaborator Mr. Hudson (credited throughout) creates a sinister hip-hop feel on “You Kill Me With Silence,” and ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante (present on three tracks) adds psych-rock whine to the Grandmaster Flash bump of “Butterfly Girl.” “Hey,” sings still-suave frontman Simon Le Bon on “Sunset Garage,” a gleaming synth-soul standout. “We’re still alive!” In this age of frivolity, Duran Duran is straight-up thriving.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 26 issue of Billboard.