In a very strange twist, these days Gary Numan is taking influence from the very bands he influenced with his late seventies and early eighties recordings. Most noticeable is Nine Inch Nails (whose recently departed drummer Jerome Dillon appears on two tracks on Jagged). When you come to think about this in detail (as I have to now) the whole situation becomes very confusing. It’s almost as if Numan has filtered himself through many of his more famous fans to create a version of his music more pure than when he began.
In fact, if he sounds like the bands he himself influenced, is this anything more than a simple progression of his own style with no outside influence at all? Perhaps I just think too much.
What you’re probably screaming at me to tell you now is whether or not this album is any good or not. Well, you’ll be pleased to hear it is. The darkness in Numan’s music is more obvious these days, what with the crunching guitars, thunderous drums (both live and programmed) and the overall industrial production treatment but the one all important thing that he hasn’t lost is the hooks in his songs. Okay, he can’t put things out masquerading as pop anymore but maybe that’s a good thing – just check out the chorus on Blind if you’re unsure.
At first glance you may be forgiven for thinking Gary Numan now shows no trace of the man he was in his heyday. He would probably claim this to be true himself. In fact, he is every bit that man still, having lost none of his talent and remaining, thankfully, very much the outsider.
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Label: Cooking Vinyl
Release date: 13th March 2006