Review: Gary Numan

Gary Numan
(Spitfire Records)

“Pioneer”.  The word is used often to describe Gary Numan.  Most accessibly know for his 80’s hit “Cars” (which was brought back to life with Fear Factory’s cover of the pop hit on their last album), Gary Numan influenced people like Trent Reznor who went on to develop the idea of dark synthesizer industrial rock.  After mostly remaining reclusive in the rock world and watching this electronic form of music take on personalities as diverse as swallowing the metallic riffs of Rammstein and the much more fluid Nine Inch Nails to the soft coo of Moby’’s atmospheric sampled synth pop, Gary Numan returns with his own gloomy offering of “Pure”.  The man has taken some cues from the more deep aggressive Goth sound as this album creeps along dark paths of bass infected mood.  As Trent is noted to be a vocal fan of Gary Numan, Numan must have spent some time listening to the NIN catalog for “Pure” drips with the same sense of urgent depression.  Tortured whispered vocals play in your ear before the swell of these highly dramatic builds come crashing down.  Sonically, this is a well produced album that pretty much paints with the colors most who have NIN albums in their listening catalog should find familiar.  What does shine is Numan’’s always praised sensibility for constructing a song and pulling you along with its mood shifts like its therapy.  “Pure” does wallow in the slower, standing-on-the-edge-of-oblivion vibe and lacks some of the aggression that the crunchier parts seem to striving towards, but this intentional avoidance of anything light and radio friendly is what makes this such a credible endeavor.