Duran Duran launches their return with ‘Astronaut’

Artist: Duran DuranAlbum: “Astronaut”Genre: rockAlbum Highlights: “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise”

Fast forward to a flashback to the ’80s. If two bands could summarize synthpop, it would be Duran Duran and Depeche Mode. Well, Duran Duran got back together with their original lineup and put together a modern spin on a classic formula with the release of “Astronaut.”

The album starts by launching you into a sonic journey into the great beyond with “(Reach Up For The) Sunrise.” This track features a nice driving and dance-worthy beat. Its pineapple-candy licking sound calls to mind the classic sound of this band: bouncy, happy, and making you want to “reach up for the sunrise” and start clapping along.

The second cut, “Want You More!” keeps the same beat as “Sunrise” yet is more synthesizer-driven. “What Happens Tomorrow” is a bit more guitar-driven and is more a pop ballad that makes you want to find that special someone and hold on tight for a while.

Once the album takes you on the journey to the center of the song lineup with “Bedroom Toys,” it is sad to say that the album takes a bizarre turn for a few tracks. The songs start to take on an odd characteristic of synthpop meets disco meets the score of a porn film. Fortunately, this detour is quickly remedied.

“Finest Hour” returns back to a more tried and true sound for Duran Duran that works well, and flows through the final songs. Duran Duran came up with an impressive album, but towards the middle it seems to miss the moon by a mile.