They're old enough to have fathered some of the boys in the bands now laying claim to the charts they once ruled, but Duran Duran still know a thing or two about the art of pop music. Of course, for these seasoned vets, once teen idols themselves, art and pop go hand in hand, making their brand of disposable fluff more esoteric and more thoughtful than most of the confections currently spun on MTV.
On the ironically titled Pop Trash, that approach translates to exuberant, guitar-injected rave-ups and dreamy, atmospheric soundscapes such as the lovely "Playing with Uranium" and the understated "Someone Else Not Me." (The latter recalls Duran Duran's 1993 comeback smash "Ordinary World.") Perhaps the stellar '80s group's last remaining founding members, Simon LeBon, 41, and Nick Rhodes, 38, are hoping that lightning will strike again. Not that failing to chart has deterred Duran Duran from continuing to record: Pop Trash is their third CD since 1993, and while they may not keep the current crop of pop stars awake nights, Duran Duran can still make music that's smartly done, radio-savvy and thoroughly enjoyable.