New Duran Duran album/Badly Drawn Boy gig/

They've returned to the feel of their first two albums

Duran Duran has regained their original early-80’s vibe. As their original North American A&R man, I couldn’t be happier with the band’s return to this positive early feel. I’ve always felt that Rio was their best complete album. Subsequent discs contained the hits, but weren’t nearly quite as complete or positive. The darker tone reflected the guys becoming less fun-loving as fame surrounded their every move. Along with ace producer Mark Ronson, they decided it was finally time to return to what people love most about their Duran Duran memories. From beginning to end, “All You Need Is Now” is fresh, positive, and mostly uptempo. It may not contain radio hits for today’s tough climate, but there’s the title track, which is right in DD’s sweet spot. “Leave A Light On” is a sweet slower song, and closer “Before the Rain” adds a delightful dose of drama. “The Man Who Stole A Leopard” might be my overall fave, with its melody that stuck with me a long time.  The album has immediately jumped to #1 on the iTunes charts.  It’s a perfect gift for Duran’s many fans.

Badly Drawn Boy got a ton of publicity about his onstage meltdown last Thursday night at The Troubadour. I was at the Wednesday gig, which could have used a bit more spark. The guy’s an amazing talent and his 2-hour set contained many crowd faves. Most of the soft set was solo acoustic.  He said logistics didn’t allow him to bring his full band over from England. Most of the crowd hung with him well, but this club isn’t the best place for such a low-key 120 minute event. Here’s the NME account of Thursday night’s drama. He later apologized, and here’s the article.

All Access, the #1 radio industry trade, quizzed top alternative rock programmers about their top 5 albums of 2010. Here are the results, and you can find my listing under Go Deep With Bruce Rave. Keep an eye out for my full posts of year-end album, tracks, and live show faves. They’ll be appearing right here in the next week or so. Happy holidays!

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