Listen to a sample while you read.
Think Gary Numan without thinking about his 1980s uber-hits, ‘Cars’ and ‘Are Friends Electric’. Yes, that’s difficult for some people, but anyone who has their finger on the pulse of dark, electronic / guitar music will know that Mr Numan is a force to be reckoned with to this day. After going through something of a process of musical reinvention over past years, the Gary Numan of today delivers an utterly contemporary, dark sonic blast of noise which is easily up there with the likes of Reznor and Manson.
His latest offering “Jagged” is a black cocktail of self loathing, angst, fear and mistrust. This is one of those albums that have the ability to take you to another place, space and time, and let me tell you, it’s a scary, cold place.
Album opener, ‘Pressure’ is an exercise in unsettling sonic malevolence. Numan’s crooning vocals slide easily over eastern-tinged synth lines before a guitar rips apart the calm.
“Fold” is an instant classic; its refrain of “I hear you calling” is a hook that stays in your head long after the song passes.
The album is very coherent, with none of the songs sounding out of place. If there is any criticism to be leveled it is perhaps that this coherence means that as a whole album, Jagged is quite a bleak emotional ride, and not one for the faint-hearted
Those who still can’t shake those 1980s preconceptions need to wake up, wise up and get with the Numan program. This is essential listening.
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