Sunday, May 23, 2021

Gary Numan : "Intruder"

 At 63  who would have guessed Numan would be making some of the best music of his career at this late in the game. I really liked his last album "Savage" it was less future pop and more industrial. The same can be said of this one , but the mood is darker and compositions more lushly colored.  His voice sounds great, granted he using a more nuanced and softer approach. Though he never really flexed his pipes a ton on his more classic stuff. The mood shifts into something more like a power ballad on |"I am Screaming". I prefer the groove to the title track.  The over all slant to his songwriting is less quirky and angular than what made "Down in the Park". This can be felt most in the way his vocal melodies fall. I do like the guitar playing a much bigger role for him these days . 

As for what he is doing on this album "Is This World Not Enough" kind of picks up where the title track left off. Since it left off in such a great place it bodes well for this song.  " A Black Sun" is more of a emotional ballad, with a Smashing Pumpkins feel. There is a crunchy metallic stomp to "the Chosen". It is surprisingly heavy for him. His vocals smooth it out. I appreciate the fact he is not just banking on the nostalgia of his classic sound and continues to evolve. While not a power ballad, there is the loud of soft rock formula made popular in the 90s at work on "And it Break Me Again". It continues to work for what he is doing here.  'Saints and Liars" has more of 90s groove to it, though the way the chorus soars is similar in tone to other songs here. 

"Now and Forever" builds off of moods he has already at the very least flirted with earlier in the album. His voice falls in all the right places of the grooves on this one. "the End of Dragons" is another ballad like work of atmosphere and introspection, he takes a few more chances with the vocal arrangement,  There is a more industrial groove to "When you Fall" , thought the chorus kind of falls along the lines of what he has been doing.   I think it is pretty clear what I like about this album. There are no bad songs, but I am given it a 9.5 as some work off a similar formula in the album's second act, he was striking forward so boldly on the first few songs it is almost nitpicking to bring this up, but the bar is held high for him since he continues to raise it for his peers from his era. 


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