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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gary Numan


Review by Gary Hill

Gary Numan pretty much embodied the ‘80’s moody electronic branch of what at the time was called “new wave”. From his incredibly original band Tube Way Army to his solo career and its quirky hits, Numan represented the quintessential cool European techno-popper of that decade. He has now released an incredible album that takes that classic sound into darker and heavier directions for a new generation. It is interesting in listening to note the bands that Numan apparently has influenced, ranging from Marilyn Manson to Nine Inch Nails and Korn. With a list of disciples like that, look for the man to catch on big again.

Numan’s musicians on the CD are Monti, Rob Holliday, Steve Harris and Richard Beasley.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2001 Year Book Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Weird and spooky dark atmospheric modes begin this one. After the intro a hard edged techno rhythm starts. The cut drops down before the vocals start. This one feels rather NINish, and features some great changes and a very strong chorus. The lyrics here are quite dark and brutal.
Walking With Shadows
Starting in a slower techno rhythm, this one builds gradually for a time. It is another very dark cut lyrically and seem to tie in to the previous one. This number has a more powerful chorus segment and feels a bit more like old school Gary Numan. It features a weird effects dominated break and a nice haunting outro.
With a rather disjointed texture this one feels a bit like Marilyn Manson’s more atmospheric and textural modes, but the chorus is in a very strong old school Numan. This cut gets quite crazy at times and quite powerful at other times.
One Perfect Lie
This is another that starts off spooky and dark, but it quickly moves to a more mainstream style. for a short period. The verse is very nicely haunting. The chorus is powerful in an old style Numan mode. The cut builds in intensity each time a verse or chorus section repeats. This is one of the more accessible cuts on the disc.
My Jesus
With a rather dark techno basis, this one is very solid. The lyrics are twisted and frightening and the cut gets quite powerful at times.
Dark and moody piano based keyboard texture start this one in fine style. It quickly shifts to a more modern sounding techno structure that is more rhythmically based. This features backwards vocals for weird effect.
Listen to My Voice
A Solid techno groove starts this one. The music has a more light textured element, but still is quite poignant. This one should feel more familiar to the old time Numan fans than any of the earlier cuts.
The Prayer For The Unborn
An odd ambient techno sort of rhythm begins this one in dark tones. As textures build on this, the cut takes on new sounds. The vocals erupt on top of this mix and the cut builds in a dark textural tone that seems to embody thee older Gary Numan sound with a darker, more modern texture. After a time, it explodes in to sounds that feel like a modern take on Numan’s old band Tube Way Army. After this burst of energy, it drops to a rhythmic hushed mode, then explodes back up to this chorus. It is a very strong piece and drops to a weirdly processed acoustic sounding take on the melody to end.
Odd dark technoish elements begin this one and carry it through the intro. As the verse enters, a stripped down percussive texture takes over. Later on it expands on its themes in a more standard sort of Numan arrangement. It then drops to a more stripped down rhythmic break, then goes back to the early verse textures from there. The more traditional Numanisms return again later.
Little Invitro
Beautiful piano elements start this cut. As the vocals enter, the song begins building on the melody from the intro, moving in touching melancholy styles. As the piece continues to grow, a percussive structure enters. After a time, a hard edged guitar riff takes the piece for a time, redefining it. After a short build on this, it drops back to more ambient tones to end.
I Can’t Breath
Pretty darkly hushed tones begin this one. After a time, the piece takes on a more prominately rhythmic structure. This one is rather Mansonish in it’s whispered creepy vocal texture. The cut builds in a rather industrial format and it features a powerful chorus in a classic Numan style. The cut builds on stripped down textural techno tones later, then jumps back to a harder edged take on that classic G.N. sound. This section ends the piece and the disc.
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