Amanda C. from SAN ANTONIO, TX Reviewed on 9/16/2006...
small crack on case
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Tyler B. | Portland, OR | 02/07/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although this album may not have aged QUITE as well as Rio, it is a masterpiece. It was the overblown, overproduced, overly-poppy album that Duran Duran absolutely had to do -- and they did it perfectly.
Seven and the Ragged Tiger could have benefitted from some "breathing room" somewhere in the track listing (as in a spacious, breezy, tempo-free song), but at this point in their careers, the members of Duran Duran had no such "breathing room" in their chaotic lives, so I can see why this was reflected in the album.
I am a songwriter and have analyzed the theory behind these songs...let me just say, from a musical point of view, the chords and melodies are fascinating and incredibly original. The sheer number of key changes that go on in these songs, oftentimes without the listener even knowing, is hard to comprehend.
Duran Duran are infamous for not knowing the strength of their own songs. I've seen the set list of their current tour, with that God-forsaken Timbaland/Timberlake record they just released, and I think that these guys just don't know which of their classic songs to play. In terms of Seven and the Ragged Tiger, the biggest blunder of this kind was not including "Secret Oktober" on the album. It is one of the greatest recordings ever made.
Oh, and don't blame Simon for cryptic lyrics. I mean, come on, sometimes even MY head is "full of chopstick." Such lyrics were just his style...and not everyone can be Morrissey."
Shaking Up The Lizard Mixture
Patrick D. Stella | Oswego, NY United States | 12/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, you have two bonafide classic albums under your belt, you are dubbed the "fab five," you take over the new music venue (MTV) with a vengence but you are seen through the eyes of the "rock music press" as bubblegum or teeny-bopper music. So you take some time with a new producer (80's miracle worker Alex Sadkin) and go over the top in terms of image and create "Seven and the Ragged Tiger." Even the title screams "Hey, this album is important!"
Unfortuantely, as most albums that are designed to be masterpieces from the start, this album has some problems. The sound is cold and angular even when the music calls for more sympathetic production. "New Moon on Monday" is a great song, but the production here reduces it to an odd anti-ballad with harmonies that sound like something you'd hear on a King Crimson record.
The funny part is that it is exactly this awkwardness that endears the album to its listeners. You listen and you know it doesn't really work, but it's still a lot of fun to hear.
Everytime I hear that "Why-yi-yi-yi" chorus in "The Relfex" I think to myself, "boy that's bad, but boy do I want to hear it again." The bass line alone in "The Reflex" is enough to redeem that tune. Then you have "Union Of The Snake" which really does show what Duran Duran were trying for. Something rock orientated with a pop sense about it. On that song they fire on all cylindars just like they do on "Shadows On Your Side" and "Of Crime and Passion." And even if lyrics like "My head is full of chopstick and I don't like it" (from "Cracks in the Pavement") make you cringe, I'd be damned if Simon Le Bon doesn't make an equally awkwardly worded and constructed ballad like "The Seventh Stranger" work.
Confounding thing this "Seven and the Ragged Tiger," but confoundingly brilliant and worth listening to."
Original CD sounds better
J. Doshi | East Lansing, MI | 04/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm commenting on the remastered sound here, not on the music. However, I will say that Duran Duran are one my favorite groups, and this is a great album overall. Unfortunately, this remaster is dull. The sound level is louder, but that doesn't really mean anything. You control the volume knob. The soundstage is two-dimensional; the dynamic range is squashed; the bass is weak, and the high frequencies are a little distorted. Is the original CD perfect? Of course not. But it didn't sound too bad either. Rio is a different story--the original CD mastering was poor, and the reissue sounds significantly better. Seven and the Ragged Tiger was remastered by a different engineer at a different studio and sounds worse in basically every way. This is one of those cases where you're better off staying with or finding the original issue CD."