Medazzaland is a catalog of hooky little electronic tricks and elaborate arrangements. It's as if Duran Duran had so much fun creating sounds with their synth-toys they couldn't bear to leave any of them out. Songs are stu... more »ffed with backwards snares, chattering loops, heavily processed vocals. Tracks fade in, fade out, pan, rush, retreat, tickle, undulate. They also play with influences, experimenting with everything from Eastern-influenced chord progressions to Kraftwerk-like electro-minimalism. But despite the bells and whistles, Duran Duran want us to remember. Blended in with all the fancy techno stunts are slips of new-wave Duran Duran, like plump tom fills, and, of course, Simon LeBon's unmistakable whine. In all, this CD is so diverse, it borders on being scattered, but it is the gravitational thread of the familiar Duran Duran that keeps the album in line. --Beth Bessmer« less
Medazzaland is a catalog of hooky little electronic tricks and elaborate arrangements. It's as if Duran Duran had so much fun creating sounds with their synth-toys they couldn't bear to leave any of them out. Songs are stuffed with backwards snares, chattering loops, heavily processed vocals. Tracks fade in, fade out, pan, rush, retreat, tickle, undulate. They also play with influences, experimenting with everything from Eastern-influenced chord progressions to Kraftwerk-like electro-minimalism. But despite the bells and whistles, Duran Duran want us to remember. Blended in with all the fancy techno stunts are slips of new-wave Duran Duran, like plump tom fills, and, of course, Simon LeBon's unmistakable whine. In all, this CD is so diverse, it borders on being scattered, but it is the gravitational thread of the familiar Duran Duran that keeps the album in line. --Beth Bessmer
Their best, most consistent, most perfectly realized work
Rhett Redelings | Kentfield, CA United States | 12/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If `Rio' was the best album from the original lineup of Duran Duran, then Medazzaland is the most accomplished, mature and effective album from the Warren Cuccurullo era (I'm counting `Wedding Album' to `Pop Trash' since he wasn't allowed to write on Notorious, Big Thing or Liberty even though he was the guitar player).
Meddazzaland has all the pop hooks you would expect from Duran Duran, but there's a lyrical and musical maturity, musical vocabulary and attention to detail hinted at in previous Duran albums but only really matched on Arcadia's 'So Red the Rose'. In fact, Meddazzaland is like the grittier, edgier sequel to 'So Red the Rose', musically speaking.
If you're the kind of Duran Duran fan that only buys the singles collections or think they became irrelevant after 'The Wild Boys', then don't bother. This is an incredible, uncompromisingly artistic achievement of an album, even if didn't sell as well as some of their more straight ahead pop work. If, however, you were the kind of Duran Duran fan who thought bought and listened to their albums all the way through, then you'll hear the same band on this album. But they've bravely taken leave of their shiny pop image and put out something challenging and deeply rewarding.
Not a Duran Duran fan at all? Still think they're an irrelevant `80's pop band? Well that's never actually been true and `Medazzaland' is the album that will change your mind forever. Duran Duran have always been more than a pretty pop act, they've always had a depth, breadth and staying power most bands don't and they prove at once that they can still make melodic, groove conscious, pop infused music while producing groundbreaking (yes, I said groundbreaking) work, as credible as any great rock album you've ever heard.
Give it a few listens and I think you'll find that 'Out of my mind', 'Buried in the sand', 'Midnight Sun', 'Michael, you've got a lot to answer for'(written for INXS singer Michael Hutchence before his death) and 'So long suicide' are among the best, most infectious songs Duran Duran ever produced. In fact, if more critics heard this album, I think Duran Duran would be recognized as the great musicians they are rather than the pretty boys they once were. This album gets written off as being "too experimental" and too self indulgent, but I disagree. These songs have a lot going on in them, no doubt, but nearly 8 years later, they still hold up. This album still sounds fresh, genuine and relevant.
Duran Duran have had, and continue to have, many good moments but 'Medazzaland' is their best, most consistent, most perfectly realized work. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. "
Duran's Revolver era
Silent river | 04/28/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Duran Duran does what their critics don't expect them to do but anyone who listens to them knows they are anything but predictable, playing different styles of music, being anything but the new wave idols tabloids state them to be.
On Notorious they turned their hand to making some funk inspired music and Big Thing was part house/part slow synth landscapes. On Medazzaland they turn to experimenting with electronic music, but with a more traditional rock base producing some of their most interesting music ever. And there's no quickly thrown together drum n bass like some bands resorted to at the time.
Midnight Sun is one the most beautiful songs they've done topping even Ordinary world and Come undone. Michael is a slow ballad also. Both songs comes with layers of Nick's sweeping electronica which might take some getting used to. Out of my mind is a haunting tune, it does what Come Undone does on The Wedding album and somethings about it reminds me of that song too.(Interestingly it also has that short break after the chorus like Come Undone). It could have easily been a big hit if they had been promoted at all by EMI.
So long suicide is one of the best Duran songs to rock out to, when Simon uses his raucous rock voice (like on Wild boys) not even many rock singers can beat him. Buried in the Sand is a cool song with Nick's lyrics about John Taylor's departure, it sounds a bit Smashing Pumpkins while also featuring Indian sounding solo and percussion. I like how Simon's voice sounds dark and ominous here. Silva Halo is quite short and doesn't really sound too good here but live it really turns into something awesome.
Big bang generation, Who do you think you are and Be my icon are not favourites of mine but I can't really find anything wrong with them, they all have strong hooks and melodies going. I suppose it's just not my kind of music. Undergoing treatment and Medazzaland are cool for its weirdness factor I can't say much more. So that's one star less from me.
Overall the album is essential and it blows away other bands attempts at electronic music around that same time (e.g U2, David Bowie). It's a shame that innovative music gets overlooked because of a band's image."
Steven W. Hasting | TULSA, OKLA., USA | 11/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Medazzaland did not get anywhere near the attention it deserves. This is clearly one of the best Duran Duran album and there are many excellent ones. Every track on this CD shines. For me the standouts were: "Out Of My Mind", "Buried in The Sand", "Midnight Sun", and "So Long Suicide". I would recommend any Duran Duran album, but this is one of my favorites. Buy a copy and give it a listen and you'll see why."
C. Harmony | los angeles,ca | 11/07/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I wanted to like this album more than I did. I had avoided buying it for some reason when it came out (I did Pop Trash too). I bought "Astronaut" and fell in love with Duran Duran again, and thus was inspired to purchase "Medazzaland" and "Pop Trash". This album has many great reviews here at Amazon so I had high hopes. Not a total let down, "Big Bang Generation", "Electric Barbarella", "Out of My Mind" and "Midnight Sun" are excellent tracks and worth the 10 or 15 dollars, but it just wasn't the dark expirimental masterpeice that I had heard it was. Buy it for those tracks though for sure. ANd don't forget to buy "Astronaut"!!!!"