Duran Duran have a new digital single "Nice" out in the US this week taken from the band's 2004 reunion album "Astronaut". Commissioned some time ago the single was planned to be released the same time as they were to be touring Europe in 2005 but after the promos failed to generate interest with radio the single was shelved. I suspect the success of Ferry Corsten's "Fire", which is essentially a remix of DD's 80's album track "Serious", made the record company rethink their original decision by proving there is a market for dance versions of DD tunes other than "Hungry Like The Wolf". Having already spent the money on the remixes it must have been an obvious choice to give it a digital release since there are no distribution costs.
The album version of "Nice" has plenty going for it musically as a classic Duran Duran new wave disco tune, but the lyrics are laughable. One of the reason ladies love Simon Le Bon is because he wears his heart on his sleeve and I feel his pain when he sings "it hurts me to think that you might never know that I've got this thing about you". Then he continues with some of the most emotional sentiment ever committed to song he reveals that "there is nothing better than being with you and I'm feeling so nice". Nice. Of course it's just disco and if you listen to music for the lyrics you are foolish for not sticking to poetry.
As expected most of the remixes are a by-the-numbers dance stuff even if someone had the daft idea of commissioning a hip hop remix from Dready which lays some new "yeahs" and "woos" over the song. However the Eric Prydz mixes, which include two edits that are perversely longer than the original, are quite amazing. Taking a vocodered vocal from the original Prydz provides his signature looping-a-hook-and-endlessly-repeating-it-over-a-tech-house-beat thing that he did so well on his "Call On Me" and then adds a new lead synth that takes the whole thing to another level. It's low-brow minimalist pop that knows when to quit and that is a beautiful thing.
Here is video of Duran Duran playing "Nice" live:
Stream the Eric Prydz mix on napster.