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Gary Numan


Review by Lorraine Kay

This long awaited Gary Numan CD Jagged is sure to become a classic with every track strong and thought provoking. The entire CD has the feel of a black and white, kind of artsy European film with a lot of scenes in dark narrow streets. And as each song builds you are just sure that some baddie in a long black coat is going to jump out and do you in.

Numan’s vocals are dark and powerful supporting some incredibly tight instrumental arrangements. This CD is a must for any Numan fan and anyone that is a fan of this genre of rock and roll.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review

This powerful and percussive song weaves in and out from soft and mysterious to punch-me-in-the-face drums and bass with a strong enough beat to be danceable.

This one is soft, gentle and melodic for the most part after a long intro and builds gradually to a more aggressive refrain with some interesting breaks and a big finish.

Coming out of the gate slowly with a slight industrial feel to it, when it does get started it just jumps up in your face with a driving rhythm section. This song asks a stream of questions for which there are no answers. But that is okay.

Taking a step away from the driving rhythm of the former tracks, this one starts off rhythmically, but with a subtle and somewhat interesting aboriginal percussive under-tone. It builds and jumps in there with the hard driving rhythm section that Numan is noted for before emerging into a vocal and synthesizer crescendo just before the end fade.
In A Dark Place

This track has an interesting opening, rather syncopated. The vocals open almost acapella with just percussion and a trace of a synth behind Numan’s dark vocals before exploding with full on synth chorus and multiple layers of vocals shouting out the haunting lyrics – a conversation with God. It ends abruptly with God’s rejection.

Almost a follow-up of “In A Dark Place,” this continues in the theme of not being able to find salvation. This one is not as textured as the previous tracks. It uses the fullness of synths to actually bring a slightly lighter feel to the dark lyrics.

Whether the box in this song is the same one in the first track “Pressure” it is hard to say. The similarity in the feel of the two songs brings the CD full circle. Starting softly it strongly jumps into the refrain. The theme recurrent in the previous two tracks about falling from grace and the depths of sin weaves through the track as well. A powerful composition, it ends softly with a trace of synths somewhere.
Before You Hate It

The vocals just jump right in on this one. Percussion and synths play softly behind the vocals until the refrain, when it briefly crescendos and then drops out to make room for some interesting and unusual synthesized percussion before returning to the next verse. The refrain and bridge take on a stronger and even more melodic stance through to the ending.

Salvation is again the theme on this track. The percussion intro builds quickly as a guitar and synth slam together to support Numan’s vocals as he seems to ponder celestial things.

The piano in this one adds a totally different feel to it that is not in the rest of the album. Another brooding song, the focus is entirely different as well. It is more of a love song, than anything else on the disc. This number makes promises of caring and trust. During the acapella parts and the verses, the quietness is excited by the powerful choruses.

“Jagged” takes a bit to get started but when it does it is one of the more exciting tracks. Numan begins the vocals in a whisper in front of the strong rhythm section that builds until it becomes somewhat of a swing with a shuffle on the drums. Layers of synth tracks make it even more interesting. As much as I don’t like to compare songs by other artists it has a touch of Genesis’ “Land Of Confusion” in the final measures.
Fold (Alternate Version)
An Alternative version of “Fold” comes back as a bonus track. This one is more upbeat and shorter than the earlier rendition.
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