Duran Duran: Paper Gods

Three decades in, still trying new things, with help from Lindsay Lohan and more

More than 30 years after they were first dismissed as vapid New Wave man-dolls, Duran Duran are still kicking, and sounding surprisingly vibrant. Their 14th LP features Mark Ronson and longtime collaborator Nile Rodgers, as well as appearances by New Age soul queen Janelle Monáe, ex–Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante and even Lindsay Lohan, who adds some disco-doctor patter to the sleazy-slick "Danceophobia." It's a weird mix that feels cohesive, from the mirror-ball flash of "Pressure Off" to the EDM blowout "Last Night in the City," featuring young house singer Kiesza. Paper Gods has a grand-old-bitch quality: On the title track, Simon Le Bon plays the bored lizard king complaining about shallow fashion zombies. But what makes this music fun is its youthful sense of invention. Our Eighties-mad era would've been happy with a Rio redux, but these guys aren't ready to settle for that.