For those not in the know, although I would seriously imagine those to be in the smallest of numbers, Gary Numan is an English singer, songwriter, composer, musician and record producer.
With number-one singles "Are "Friends" Electric?" and "Cars", Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a cult following.
His signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, and he is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music. Numan is also known for his distinctive voice and androgynous "android" persona and was the winner of the 2017 T3 tech legends award.
And now Gary Numan is back in 2017 with the release of his stunning brand new album, Savage (Songs from a Broken World). Created wholly via a massive Pledge Music campaign, Numan really brought the album making experience to the fans, as once they had pledged their money to the project, he posted in depth updates galore.
1. 'Ghost Nation'
2. 'Bed of Thorns'
3. 'My Name Is Ruin'
4. 'The End of Things'
5. 'And It All Began with You'
6. 'When the World Comes Apart'
8. 'What God Intended'
9. 'If I Said'
10. 'Pray for the Pain You Serve'
"Making an album is often a long and tortuous process," Numan told his fans, in his heartfelt intro to his aforementioned Pledge page. "As a fan you usually just get the finished product, an album slickly packaged, professional and shrink wrapped for your pleasure. But you miss entirely the journey it took to get that finished product to you."
"I would like to change that. With my new album, the 21st album of my career, I would like to involve you from the very beginning. I want you to be a witness to the entire process, from the very first note played, through every up and down as the days unfold, as each song comes together, as each lyric takes shape and as the first glimmer of art design comes into my head."
Well, any of you that pledged and followed along know that Numan encountered a lot of speed bumps - both professionally and personally - along the way, which subsequently derailed the creative side to his new album for month at a time. But he soldiered through them all and has brought out an album that is truly classic Numan and as fantastic as anything that has come before it from him.
Knowing beforehand that Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is a concept album centered around the blending of Western and Eastern cultures in a post-apocalyptic world that has become desertified as a result of global warming, is a superb way to then begin to listen to the songs.
For within each track you can shut your eyes and just imagine these affected people in some harsh and terrifying environment, all in a desperate need to survive. The consequences of what they do, the awful things they endure in order to do so, and what obviously haunts them thereafter is a running theme.
He kicks things off with "Ghost Nation", a track that instantly lays the musical and cinematic landscape for what's to come, and backs that up with both the Far East-flavored "Bed Of Thorn" and the thunderous lead single, "My Name Is Ruin". With the majority of these new songs as steeped in banks upon banks of synthesizers, this song in particular stands out a mile.
Featuring his 11-year-old daughter Persia, not only is it the best track here, in my humble opinion, but it is quite easily one of his most indelible tracks in many a year. Sure his sound hasn't lost anything from the old days, but the songs that came of his last album, 2013's Splinter (Songs From a Broken Mind), were sometimes lacking in heart, in belief, that's all.
"The End Of Things" allows Numan's raw vocals to come through, and he sounds so, so good, "And It All Began With You" is a windswept electronic ballad of pure, unadulterated industrial gloom. Which, please believe me, is Numan's sand pit and nothing to steer clear of that his forte is most definitely still spot on.
The heavy hitting "When The World Comes Apart" is next, and that's followed by the slow, thoughtful, grinding ballad "Mercy". That slower vibe is continued on "What God Intended", but then the electronic drums come to the fore massively on the orchestral building giant "If I Said" (vinyl extra track).
The pace is picked up for "Pray For The Pain You Serve", then come the orchestral percussion pulses and synth purring found within the beautiful "Broken". The album then wraps with the vinyl/Deluxe Edition only) bonus of the stirring, Eastern-tinged "Cold", a track that exudes everything that this album was meant to convey.
While Savage (Songs from a Broken World) will be available on all standard formats, as mentioned above, vinyl versions will include the additional tracks “If I Said” and “Cold”, while the deluxe CD will also have “If I Said”.
Gary Numan @ Twitter