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Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics What's this?

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7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 14th full-length studio release for the British pop rock band features guest appearances from Jonas Bjerre, John Frusciante, Kiesza, Lindsay Lohan, Janelle Monáe, Mr Hudson, and Nile Rodgers.
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Top Track

Pressure Off
Steppin' out, steppin' out, steppin' out and jumpin' up and Steppin' out, steppin' out, steppin' out and jumpin' up and Steppin' out, steppin' out,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. Sep 14, 2015
    80
    As they prove yet again with their latest triumph, Paper Gods, Duran Duran is one of the most consistently entertaining bands of our generation.
  2. 80
    Largely, though, Duran Duran chooses its collaborators wisely here, opting for some from that golden age, like Mr. [Nile] Rodgers, or those who’ve internalized that era’s balance of sleaze and good cheer, like Mark Ronson.... So long as Mr. Le Bon is oozing atop brisk arrangements like this, the specifics of the words don’t much matter. Everyone here has the posture down cold.
  3. Sep 18, 2015
    70
    In this age of frivolity, Duran Duran is straight-up thriving.
  4. Q Magazine
    Aug 26, 2015
    60
    Despite a few missteps her and there, it's good to have them back. [Oct 2015, p.109]
  5. Sep 10, 2015
    60
    If Paper Gods isn’t quite as strong throughout as 2010’s back-to-basics All You Need Is Now, Kill Me With Silence and the title track have terrific choruses and Sunset Garage beautifully honours the band’s survival.
  6. Mojo
    Aug 26, 2015
    60
    Paper Gods feels like a Duran Duran-shaped helium balloon, impressive, shiny, but oddly empty inside. [Oct 2015, p.96]
  7. Magnet
    Sep 22, 2015
    30
    Paper Gods is an exercise in shamelessly rehashing every tired, vaguely transgressive cliche that's defined Duran Duran's 30-plus-year career. [No. 124, p.55]

See all 14 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Sep 19, 2015
    10
    This is one of the top 3, most complete, yet adventurous albums in Duran Duran's career. They managed to seamlessly combine modern electro-popThis is one of the top 3, most complete, yet adventurous albums in Duran Duran's career. They managed to seamlessly combine modern electro-pop sounds with the classic Duran Duran sound to make their best record since the Wedding Album. It is amazing that a band 30+ years into their career are still innovating at a high level and producing some of their best music ever. There are a variety of styles on here, from EDM to funk/mowtown to great guitar solos from John Frusciante. I highly recommend the Delux version, as the bonus tracks Planet Roaring with the Sex Pistols Steve Jones on guitar and Northern Lights with John Frusciante on guitar are two of the best tracks on the album. Expand
  2. Sep 16, 2015
    10
    While other bands, evolving from the 80's, are repeating themselves constantly, Duran Duran is constantly looking for new dimensions withinWhile other bands, evolving from the 80's, are repeating themselves constantly, Duran Duran is constantly looking for new dimensions within their reach. With this offering, named Paper Gods, they really produce a very mature and flowing album. Danceable songs like Danceophobia (featuring Lindsay Lohan), Last Night In The City (featuring Kiesza) and the current single Pressure Off (featuring Janelle Monae and Nile Rodgers) are fantastic. But also the more Duranish tracks as Face For Today, What Are The Chances and You Kill Me With Silence are great! Outstanding songs on this album are the title-track Paper Gods (featuring Mr. Hudson), Change The Skyline (featuring Jonas Bjerre), Butterfly Girl (featuring Anna Ross) and Sunset Garage. Universe Alone provides in the best ending song of a Duran Duran album since Rio's The Chauffeur.
    Pop greatness!
    Expand
  3. Sep 15, 2015
    10
    I'm not much into dance music anymore--but the production and melodies on this one are first rate. It SOUNDS really, really good. Play itI'm not much into dance music anymore--but the production and melodies on this one are first rate. It SOUNDS really, really good. Play it loud. Can guarantee you will be humming choruses from it the next day. Strong album. Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2015
    9
    Competing with an 80’s catalog as solid as Duran Duran’s has to be a chore, especially when you refuse to ride the nostalgia circuit. The caseCompeting with an 80’s catalog as solid as Duran Duran’s has to be a chore, especially when you refuse to ride the nostalgia circuit. The case for latter day Duran Duran used to be pretty hard to make, but since Mark Ronson all but forced the band to revisit its Rio-era sound for All You Need Is Now in 2010-11, Duran Duran has built up enough insurance with fans to become experimental again. Paper Gods sounds almost nothing like the product of the same band that wrote “Girls on Film” or “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Guitars are used sparingly, save for some curated appearances by John Frusciante. The emphasis here is on synths and electronic beats, which is certainly not alien to Duran Duran fans, but the lack of a traditional, organic rhythm section is glaring, especially when you have a bass player of the caliber of John Taylor. Where this record succeeds is in its instantly catchy hooks, memorable melodies, and cutting-edge production. Vocalist Simon Le Bon has more than proven himself an astoundingly great front-man over the decades, but the fact that his voice is still so insanely powerful defies logic. The man belts out notes that most singers lose two decades before turning 57. Duran Duran hasn’t sounded this confident since “Wild Boys,” ripping through brilliantly layered electronic anthems, ear-worm, Chic-style funk, and blatant disco dance-floor grooves with the swagger of a band 30 years younger. Sustaining momentum has been a problem for this band since its Live Aid performance in 1985, but Paper Gods reveals a band - already more than three decades in - determined to push its legacy well into the future. The songs are certainly there, albeit in a kaleidoscopically manic shifting of styles, but whether they can capture the zeitgeist just one more time is the challenge. The fact that this should be a huge record doesn’t always fight through the noise. Expand
  5. Sep 11, 2015
    9
    A great follow up to 80s smash hits from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Rio, and more. 100x better than anything else they call pop nowadays.A great follow up to 80s smash hits from Seven and the Ragged Tiger, Rio, and more. 100x better than anything else they call pop nowadays. While not perfection, certain songs like "What are the Chances" make up for any shortcomings on other tracks. 80s greatness in their 60's? I'm in. 9/10. Expand
  6. Sep 11, 2015
    9
    I think largely the 'professional' critics haven't listened to many Duran albums. I have. Every one. Whereas All You Need Is Now was a homageI think largely the 'professional' critics haven't listened to many Duran albums. I have. Every one. Whereas All You Need Is Now was a homage to Rio; Paper Gods takes it's influence from the best tracks from all of their albums, some of which were not singles. There are many stand out tracks: Pressure Off leans towards the sound of Medazzaland's Big Bang Generation. What Are The Chances, which for me is one of the best tracks on the album, could easily be a track on Big Thing and The Universe Alone has the huge wall of sound that was present on The Wedding Album. 9/10 Expand
  7. Sep 19, 2015
    1
    What happened? The last two albums were excellent (especially All You Need is Now), but Paper Gods is a steaming pile of dog doo-doo. If IWhat happened? The last two albums were excellent (especially All You Need is Now), but Paper Gods is a steaming pile of dog doo-doo. If I wanted to hear this garbage I would simply buy a Janelle Monáe or Kiesza album. There are a few decent enough tracks but even those are scraping the bottom of the Duran Duran barrel. Anyone who thinks this is a good Duran album must listen to an awful lot of terrible music. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews