Duran Duran – The Reflex

First Hit #1: June 23, 1984

The recording studio allows you do a lot of things that might be otherwise impossible, and in some cases opens a group up to seriously screwing around with their sound and their music. The Reflex is very much a studio creation, albeit one that can be replicated with a good synthesizer, since it’s all about chopping up the tracks for unique results.

It’s most obvious in the introduction, where pieces of vocal are chopped up, moved around, repeated, and so on. It pops up throughout, they take a straightforward bit of new wave and tweak it, using unorthodox percussion samples and occasionally cut up the vocal just for the sake of doing so. It succeeds since it does sound new, as they discard traditional production to keep the song a bit fun and a bit off kilter. Duran Duran, especially in the ’80s, was rarely boring, and the Reflex keeps things entertaining by chopping stuff up just enough to keep you off guard, but not so much it’s off putting.

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One Response to Duran Duran – The Reflex

  1. Robert Berman says:

    A lyric as inscrutable as the question mark mentioned in the chorus. “I’ll cross that bridge… when I find it!” puts a clever spin on an old saw, though. Two different edits of this song received radio airplay; one leaves out the fle-fle-flexing throughout the song. Duran Duran put the “band” in “boy band,” with looks and style customized for Tiger Beat, but they had the chops to play and write their own songs too, earning them a string of hits over several years under their own name plus the side project Arcadia, then eked out a couple of nice tracks in the 90s as well.

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