This album is a departure from traditional Gary Numan. A very large depature. The last Gary Numan album I heard was The Pleasure Principle, so I associated Gary Numan with the Kraftwerk-esque robotioca of We Are Glass. I associated wrong. This new album is a blend of goth, electro and insustrial, and is influenced by the very sounds that he influenced. There is a definite Downward Spiral era Nine Inch Nails vibe going on, and it works incredibly well. And the NIN and Marilyn Manson influence is no coincidence. After going through a couple episodes of Amoeba Records’ What’s in my bag? series, I found one of Gary Numan around two years ago, when he started writing this album, and his main picks were none other than The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails and Mechanical Animals by Marilyn Manson, two classic industrial metal albums. But despite the influence, Numan still keeps his signature vocals and synths.
But what is my opinion on the album? Well, frankly, I think it’s one of the best albums of the decade. While it may not be for everyone, this new album is a masterpiece, and there can be no denying that. The masterful, poetic lyrics combined with the powerful instrumentation makes for an absolutely amazing work of art. And that synthesised bass that is used on tracks like My name is ruin is so great. An album it reminds me of a lot is the Add Violence EP, newly released by Nine Inch Nails, except a bit more expressive and loud than tracks like the doom-filled, moaning This Isn’t The Place.
The songwriting is amazing, and same with the lyrics. The cameo of Numan’s daughter on My Name Is Ruin is also another nice touch.
Definitely worth a listen.