Ruby Tuesday: Duran Duran, “Breath after Breath”

My childhood idols are releasing a new album next week, and I am fearful that it is going to suck donkey donkey donkey donkey. I base this concern on two things: the flat-as-a-pancake lead single “Falling Down,” and the album’s title, Red Carpet Massacre. One of these days, Duran Duran will learn not to write the punch lines for their critics. You’d think they would have learned that lesson after the dismal 1995 covers album Thank You, but no, they called their 2000 album Pop Trash, to which most reviewers said, “Yeah, that sounds about right.”

The band’s last album, 2004’s Astronaut, was better than it had a right to be, since it had been almost two decades since the original band had written together. We should have known not to get too optimistic for a second helping: Andy Taylor, once again, wasn’t happy with the direction the band was headed – and anyone who’s heard “Nite Runner,” the band’s collaboration with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, knows exactly where those fears surfaced – and he left in the middle of recording. Hello, 1985, nice to see you again. Your hair seems…bigger than I remember.

Nevertheless, I will eagerly await the arrival of Massacre in my mailbox, hoping against hope that the band merely chose the wrong song as the lead single. It’s happened before – “Electric Barbarella,” wow, was that song awful – so you just never know. In the meantime, I’m paying tribute to my favorite song from the band’s 1993 second eponymous album, a.k.a. The Wedding Album. Unlike anything the band has recorded before or since, “Breath after Breath” shows the band dabbling in Latin music a good three years before it was trendy to do so. Plus, Milton Nascimento has a voice like butter.

Duran Duran – Breath after Breath.mp3