Duran Duran offers this week’s real ’80s flashback

The Strokes’ new album “Angles” is getting a lot of buzz for its classic ’80s sound, both from major media outlets and from our very own Annie Bolger.

"All You Need Is Now" hearkens back to the glory days of "Rio." Photo via S-Curve Records.

But if you want real ’80s sound, there’s a totally different new record you should take a look at: Duran Duran’s “All You Need Is Now.”

Before you ask: Yes, Duran Duran, the band that perhaps is the ’80s is still around and still making music. In fact, “All You Need Is Now” is their 13th studio album, although it’s the first to chart well since 1993’s “Duran Duran (The Wedding Album),” a well-received album that propelled the band into the realm of ’90s adult contemporary, much to the surprise of critics who had written them off as a relic of the previous decade.

Unfortunately, the band’s subsequent albums made them that relic. One of the worst cover albums ever, “Thank You,” followed “The Wedding Album,” and started a chain reaction of misfires that plunged the band into obscurity. 2004’s “Astronaut,” which reunited the original five members, seemed to offer the band a chance to recover, but the album didn’t have staying power in the States.

Now, though, the band is returning to their roots, and the result is an album that deserves to make Duran Duran more than an ’80s byword.

The album starts off with a strong title track, synth-heavy but unmistakably modern. It sounds the way bands trying to sound like Duran Duran sound—and while that may sound like negative criticism, it’s quite the opposite. I don’t expect a band in their 50s to sound like they did in their 20s, so when they do, it’s impressive.

Other tracks from the album are closer to the core of Duran Duran’s classic albums like “Rio.” The super-paranoid “Being Followed” and catchy “Girl Panic” are infectiously, unabashedly so, and if it wasn’t for the slight change age has made in vocalist Simon Le Bon’s voice, it’d be hard to pick out of a line-up of the band’s b-sides as the 2011 tune.

Of the album’s more modern-sounding songs, one of the best is “Safe (In the Heat of the Moment),” which features the Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic. I generally tend to see the latter band as the spiritual successors to Queen, but listening to Matronic on the track is an instant reminder that their sound comes straight from Duran Duran.

Maybe “All You Need Is Now” isn’t destined to take off. When it was released online in December, it didn’t crack the top 100 of the Billboard charts, although it’s likely the album will shoot higher now that it’s been physically released.

But either way, I’ll know they’re worth a lot more than that. And if you give them a chance, you will too.