The original 80s Brit-synth-popsters, Duran Duran havent slowed down much since their Aqua Net days. Catch is, theyve spent a lot of that time trying to reinvent themselves when they really didnt need to. Now that 80s music is making a genuine comeback, perhaps their trademark sound will catch fire once again, if this albums any indication of their continuing skills. Produced by Kaiser Chiefs/Adele cohort Mark Ronson, these new D2 songs catch the ear immediately, from the title track to The Man Who Stole a Leopard, the synth-y ballad Before the Rain, and the pretty Mediterranea. Its a successful return to their Duranie roots.
A-Ha - 25: Very Best Of - Warner Bros.
Influencing everyone from Coldplay to U2, this Scandinavian 80s band celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band in 2010 - and then promptly called it quits. The States only really knew A-Ha for their MTV-friendly hand-sketched music video for their single Take On Me, but theres a lot more than that to these talents. The otherworldly vocals on songs like The Sun Always Shines on TV and Hunting High and Low were - and are - very much unlike any male vocal to date, and are complemented by new tune Butterfly, Butterfly (The Last Hurrah), which actually indicates that this might not be the last hurrah for this underrated band.
Brian Eno - Drums Between the Bells - Warp
The result of a collaborative effort between Eno and Rick Holland, this set blends Enos distinctive brand of ambient music with modern poetry readings and live drums (Eno calls them speech songs), fusing a trio of elements that combine into a unique electro-human blend. Eno performs the music, of course, with guest appearances from Leo Abrahams on guitar, Nell Catchpole on violin/viola, and the skilled Seb Rochford on drums; an option to purchase a two-disc version of the album leaves off the poetry/spoken word and presents the listener with just the instrumental components, although the poetry is what makes this album unique.
OMD - History of Modern - Bright Antenna
If the last thing you heard of OMD (short for Orchestral Manoevres in the Dark) was their 80s hit, If You Leave, then youve got a few surprises on the way. The UK synth-popsters havent recorded anything new since 1996, but theyve brought their now-trendy-again 80s sensibilities onto this new set. RFWK channels Kraftwerk to one degree, while The Future, The Past, and Forever After throws back even farther to 70s disco; first single Save Me is more classic OMD with its computerized elements and synth work, as is The Right Side with its big choruses and beeping keyboards.