Picks and Pans Review: Big Thing

updated 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

Duran Duran

At this point, more than the group's name has become redundant. You know it's Duran Duran because Simon LeBon's clingy, male nanny voice starts hectoring the ear from the first silly lyrics of the title track ("This is temptation/ Heavy rotation"). The former pinup boys are circling over the same pop territory as always, but without the focus or exuberance—not to mention the gaunt schoolboy cheekbones—with which they made their mark. The best that could be said of them is that they've picked up some good studio technique (try I Don't Want Your Love) along the way. That certainly can't help gormless, formless, bloodless compositions like Drug (It's Just a State of Mind). The most interesting song on Big Thing is Do You Believe in Shame? That's just because it's a musical curiosity, sounding, as it does, like a desiccated, denatured mutant version of Dale Hawkins' old hit Suzie Q. As a videogenic kiddie corps, Duran Duran was fairly viable, but as "mature" musicians, they're marooned. Maybe it's time to take a career hint from their namesake, boxer Roberto Duran. It's a wise man—or band or record buyer—who knows when to say, "No mas, no mas." (Capitol)

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