Gary Numan / Savage [Songs From A Broken World]

Savage (Songs from a Broken World)

Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is the twenty-first studio album by English musician Gary Numan. The album was first announced to be a part of a fan-backed Pledge Music Campaign on 12 November 2015.  As of May 2017, the campaign has reached 245% of its intended 100% goal. Gary initially intended Savage to have a 2016 release, but was delayed to the second half of 2017. As of 20 May 2017, mastering of the album has been completed as announced on Numan’s official Twitter account. The lead single, “My Name Is Ruin”, was released on 5 July 2017, followed by second single “What God Intended” on 4 August 2017 and third single “And It All Began with You” on 21 August 2017.

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. “The songs are about the things that people do in such a harsh and terrifying environment,” Numan stated in an interview. “It’s about a desperate need to survive and they do awful things in order to do so, and some are haunted by what they’ve done. That desire to be forgiven, along with some discovered remnants of an old religious book, ultimately encourages religion to resurface, and it really goes downhill from there.”

The Analysis—-

Ghost Nation—-From the opening strains of the intro, I can feel my pulse race and the excitement level rise in my entire being. The layers of dark sounds hit me from every direction….although the sound is familiar it also manages to sound fresh and new with an intensity not felt in a while. Numan enters with his vocal…delivered in a slight higher pitch but still filled with the emotive whine that makes him a master of conveyance. The hook of the chorus is addictive and beautiful…threatening to live in your brain for days to come. Powerful…muscular yet incredibly beautiful.

Bed Of Thorns—-Again, familiar but fresh with added sounds and effects. The song has a nice mellow Middle Eastern flair to it that lulls you into the center of the sound of the song. Swirls of atmosphere make me feel so sad but exhilarated. Numan almost whispers his intro vocal….making everything sound more desperate and important. Then again, the hook of the chorus sweeps you up in this grand swirl of feelings and urgency. Numan delivers a stellar….emotional laden vocal that really makes you feel a desperation. This is brilliant.

My Name Is Ruin—-The lead-off single to this release offers a stellar guest vocal from Numan’s daughter Persia…..the incredible track was a brilliant choice. Much of the music is familiar territory…but it is still welcome and manages to sound fresh. Too my ears, this track has Fenton written all over it. That classic Numan whine that makes him so addictive is in fantastic form…intermixed with the croon from Persia adds up to a triumphant and incredible journey for the ears. There is not one misstep with this song….it is classic….and fresh….

 

The End Of All Things—-Atmospheric and delivered like an apocalyptic soundtrack o f doom, the sounds are fresh….full of synth strings and a sad vocal that emotes a sadness and desperation to the condition of mankind. The picture that the voice and the lyric paints is so dark and melancholy…it draws you into a whole new level of the understanding of desperation. Although the chorus is strong and contagious, it is the vocal that makes it magical….Numan has a voice that wraps around each word.

And It All Began With You—-Continuing in the full blown Soundtrack feel of the release, The higher synth tones give a brightness that rides over the dense underbelly of the song. The swirls of beautifully landscaped music bring you to a level of sadness and understanding….and when Numan sings….he delivers another wallop of intensity to the song. This is brilliantly constructed…..delivered and performed….I could never ask for anything more than this release has delivered.

When The World Comes Apart—-From the onset, the music has a slight aggression to it….but is interrupted by a string sound and then returned to an Industrial play land of driving synth. Numan enters with his vocal….fitting each word perfectly with each break in the beat and rhythm. This is spectacular. Again….we return to the incredibly addictive chorus that sucks you in and knocks you on your ass….living with the words and the tune in your cerebellum for hours after the first listen……it returns and ebbs but seems to come back to play in my brain even louder each time. This is wonderful!

Mercy—-I’ve read many people’s comments that this is a favorite track off this release. The dark and plodding intro to the song fits almost perfectly in the realm of the order of the record. The creaking and intense dark synth’s are accented by a reverberating echo to the vocal…giving the song a huge and full sound. The voice is so masterful….Numan sounds ageless with every word…making me pull out every recording he has made and allow it to become this month’s religion. There are ZERO missteps on this release.

What God Intended—-Seeming to meld right from the previous track, the swirls of synth lines and slight Eastern sounds draw me in right from the start. Numan almost begs as he seems to sing from the perspective of the Earth to the listener. This is music for a generation of believers and new styled Numanoids. The desperation in the music and the vocal is delivered in a fantastic manner……I just love this man!

Pray For The Pain You Serve—-I love the slight swirl of musical flavor that introduces the track…..then being hit with the escalating synth line that stays in one place even though it strains to rise up. Numan delivers his whine better than I have heard in years…..urgent and in need of attention. This is bright…new and different…..a favorite track of mine from this release.

Broken—-Ending way too soon, this track ushers out the journey with the same poignancy as it all began with. Delivered musically in pure Soundtrack style, the music literally wraps itself around your head and leaves you sad and yearning for more from the genius that is Numan. You can almost see the demise of the world through the swirls of music and the beautifully delivered string qualities of the song. The Industrial leaning become heavier mid song…..but the sadness pervades even accentuated with the intro of the vocal…..a delivered line after line of regret and warning to anyone who will listen. This is a literal masterpiece of a record!

***** out of 5

 

KMFDM / HELL YEAH

Hell Yeah

KMFDM (originally Kein Mehrheit Für Die Mitleid, “loosely” translated by the band as “no pity for the majority”) is an industrial band led by German multi-instrumentalist Sascha Konietzko, who founded the group in 1984 as a performance art project.

The group’s earliest incarnation included German drummer En Esch and British vocalist Raymond Watts, the latter of whom left and rejoined the group several times over its history. The trio recorded the band’s earliest albums in Germany before Konietzko and Esch moved to the United States, where they found much greater success with seminal industrial record label Wax Trax!. German guitarist Günter Schulz joined in 1990; both he and Esch continued with the band until KMFDM broke up in 1999. Konietzko resurrected KMFDM in 2002 (Esch and Schulz declined to rejoin) on Metropolis Records, and by 2005 he had assembled a consistent line-up that included American singer Lucia Cifarelli, British guitarists Jules Hodgson and Steve White, and British drummer Andy Selway. Konietzko and Cifarelli moved back to Germany in 2007, while the rest of the band stayed in the U.S. In addition to these core members, dozens of other musicians have worked with the group across its nineteen studio albums and two dozen singles, with sales totaling in excess of two million records worldwide.

Critics consider KMFDM to be one of the first bands to bring industrial music to mainstream audiences, though Konietzko refers to the band’s music as “The Ultra-Heavy Beat”. The band incorporates heavy metal guitar riffs, electronic music, samples, and both male and female vocals in its music, which encompasses a variety of styles including industrial rock and electronic body music. The band is fiercely political, with many of its lyrics taking stands against violence, war, and oppression. KMFDM normally tours at least once after every major release, and band members are known for their accessibility to and interaction with fans, both online and at concerts. Members, singly or working together and with other musicians, have recorded under many other names, primarily Watts’ Pig, Konietzko’s Excessive Force, and Esch and Schulz’s Slick Idiot.

Hell Yeah is the twentieth album by KMFDM, it was released on August 18, 2017, on earMUSIC and KMFDM Records.

The Analysis—-

Hell Yeah—-A contagious and remarkable dance beat opens this track. The sound transports me back to the awakening of the Industrial sounds and movement of the 90’s. This is a bit tame to me though….not quite as aggressive as usual….but catchy as hell….it seems like the creative juices are still in flow on album number 20!

Freak Flag—-Again, this is full of the 90’s style beats and direction that defined the band in it’s heyday….the step backwards, with all of the available technology available today, is a bit disappointing. As always, the chorus of the song…steered by the ever present female vocal shapes the direction of the song. This is nostalgic in sound…..and offers little new in sound.

Oppression 1/2 /Total State Machine/Oppression 2/2—–I don’t dislike this record…..but with everything that is going on in the world today, I expected more anger and ire. After the mundane intro, the music does open up into a fantastic gallop of noise that makes me inwardly smile. The words fascist and hate appear throughout…..perhaps they got the message….this shaped up to be a great track. A single for sure!!!!

Murder My Heart—-The lead off single from this release, this is a but tame and generic at the onset. I’m amazed at the lack of aggression and anger on this release. This is a’love song’ that leaves me less than impressed and inspired.

Rip The System V. 2.0—-This is more like it…..the song opens up with more aggressive beats, the female vocal disappears and Sasha delivers line after line of everything that is wrong in the world today. This is accessible….but meaningful enough to restore some of my faith in the band. This reminds me of Nitzer Ebb.

Shock—-Returning to a mundane and predictable sound, the music that plays underneath is the songs saving grace. The beats give off an urgency that steers the song despite the female love tale that ensues in the song. I love the sharp and direct beats.

Fake News—-Everything  I hoped this song would be and more. Fantastic lyrics that are timely and important…..a beat that drives the song to a pinnacle of excitement. A chorus that will live in the front of your brain for days….send this to that Trump guy will ya!!! This is fantastic.

Rx 4 The Damned—-I don’t embrace the female vocal of the song right away…but it really grows on you. This is the aggression and anger that I have been hungry for. When the voices join together for the chorus, the song becomes literally magnificent. I really like this…….all the noise I needed and more.

Burning Brain—-Continuing is the same vein as the previous track, the second half of this release far outweighs the beginning. Sasha delivers a vocal that borders on angry dementia that brings a huge smile to my face. This is the KMFDM I wanted from the very onset. Incredible!!!

Only Lovers—-Ugh…..not at all what I wanted…..this sounds like a dated Motels song. I hate the mood shifts…..just when the band finds a groove…..than this!!!????? Just crap….

Glam, Glitz. Guts & Gore—-Ending the release much better than it started, the band delivers a scathing and blistering musical backdrop that literally blows your head off. This is aggressive….driving……forceful and full of biting vocal. I freakin’ love this song. A masterpiece this one. Leaves a great taste in my mouth.

***3/4 out of 5

 

Nine Inch Nails / Add Violence [EP]

Add Violence [Explicit]

Add Violence is an extended play by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on July 19, 2017, two days ahead of its scheduled release date, under Trent Reznor‘s label The Null Corporation. It will be followed by the release of a physical component the week of August 8 and a CD release on September 1. A vinyl release was also announced with no release date set. This marks the second EP in a proposed trilogy following the 2016 release of Not the Actual Events. The final EP of the series is expected to be released before the end of 2017.

The album was announced on July 13, 2017, and the lead single “Less Than” and an accompanying music video directed by Brook Linder were released online. On July 18, “This Isn’t the Place” was released with an accompanying music video directed by Alex Lieu.

The Analysis—-

Less Than—-Right from the opening notes, this plays as one of the most accessible NIN tracks in recent memory.  The music is reminiscent of the early days of the band….the remarkable melody is addictive as hell. Reznor still maintains an edge an an anger, this is remarkable all the way around.

The Lovers—-Melding directly from the previous track, the blips and beeps are accompanied by a whispered, distant vocal. This track is markedly darker and sparse. Reznor sings with a tortured voice that leaves me a bit sad and introspective. The emotions displayed are remarkable. A really great track.

This Isn’t The Place—-Again, a moody and dark atmospheric intro. The sparse music plays like a movie soundtrack song. The slow plodding music fills you with some anticipation as you wonder where this is all going. The tortured vocal finally enters at the two minute mark and leaves me somewhat uninspired and unimpressed.

Not Anymore—-A bit more of a jaunty intro dissolves into a pleasant static noise that reminds me of the old days. Reznor delivers a vocal that lies underneath all of the noise. The music is super aggressive and still manages to be pretty accessible and pleasant to listen to. A favorite track of mine….layer of sound stacked on layer of sound…..fantastic!

The Background World—-Clocking in a over 11 minutes in length, this takes you on a journey all of its own. Trent sounds like a youngster…..his voice has not aged a bit. The level of emotion is as strong as the first note on the debut album….none of the purpose has been lost. The strains of slight orchestration that rides underneath the machines give the song a very full sound. The melody line is addictive and pleasant…..adding to the listening pleasure. The vocal comes in and out….fading behind the beats than stepping forward again. As I said…this is a journey in its own right. The track eventually dissolves into an unsustainable wall of white noise and distortion that leaves a sour taste in your mouth…..but you know to expect this from Trent.

**** out of 5

 

Nine Inch Nails / Not The Actual Events

Not The Actual Events

Nine Inch Nails is the name of a music project by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, as well as the name of the band hired by them to perform songs while on tour. It is an industrial rock band, and the most recognized one since the genre was introduced. Before Ross’s inclusion in 2016, Nine Inch Nails was solely under the creative direction of Trent Reznor.

Nine Inch Nails (commonly abbreviated as NIN) was formed in Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1988, and has so far released eight full-length studio albums, twenty singles and EPs, a number of remix albums, and some live material. Reznor is the only official member and has always been solely responsible for the musical direction of the band. His lyrics are largely concerned with the exploration of the self, but with albums such as Year Zero and The Slip, the lyrical focus shifted somewhat to extrospection. Earlier NIN material was created almost entirely by Reznor, but starting with The Fragile, he began to allow for a more collaborative writing process involving other players.

After recording a new album, the assembly of a new band usually follows, along with extensive touring; the live component of Nine Inch Nails is largely considered a separate entity from NIN in the recording studio. NIN’s live shows often involve visually spectacular elements such as screens and lighting rigs, which have been used on the Self Destruct, Fragility, With Teeth Arena Tours (Fall & Spring), Performance 2007, Lights In The Sky and NIN 2013-2014 tours, and would sometimes culminate with the destruction of musical instruments.

Not The Actual Events (also known as Halo 29) is the second proper EP from Nine Inch Nails. It was released digitally on December 23, 2016, though pre-orders through nin.com allowed for a download one day early. This is the first release to include Atticus Ross as an official member of NIN.

The Analysis—-

Branches/Bones—-Beautifully noisy, it is a welcome joy to hear Trent back and sounding so driven. The music is layered upon layer, at times dissolving into just the bass synth that drives the track. Trent sounds more pissed off than I have heard him in a long tome….I can only imagine how this will play live with the visuals the band is famous for. Just brilliant….and the track quickly dissolves into…..

Dear World,—-Kicking off with a huge and familiar bass line, this has classic NIN all over it. The vocal….if it can be construed as such is mostly a spoken word rant that seems a bit nonsensical to me. It is the music and the intermittent sing song vocal from Trent that makes this a classic track that is quickly becoming a favorite track of mine. This is fantastic….abrasive yet beautiful.

She’s Gone Away—-Fully engaged in a apocalyptic musical delivery, this track is muddled and ugly. I love it. The deep intonation of Reznor’s vocal is broken by a melodic sense at times making you hurt, feel angry and impossibly alive inside. This is remarkable…I could not ask for more from this mini-offering…..giving me so much hope and joy when contemplating the future of a band I thought had lost the drive to continue. The layers and layers of sound combine to create a huge desolate, gray landscape that makes me feel incredibly comfortable.

The Idea Of You—-You can literally feel the static and anger burst through your headphones when this track begins. again with the odd spoken word ravings of a pissed off baby boomer, perhaps Trent has once again tapped into the feeling of a nation. when the ‘chorus’ kicks in. i can feel the mosh pit going berserk and bursting apart with kept up energy. Leaving me feeling energized and hopeful despite the darkness….I can’t wait for more.

Burning Bright [Field On Fire]—-Crashing keyboards and layers upon layers of dark noise, this is pure beautiful static. Trent is way at the back of the mix of things…allowing the huge aggressive sounds to literally trample him into the ground. This is energy……that needed to be let out of the bag. Remarkably ugly…..but exquisite in beauty, when Trent allows for a ‘clean’ vocal, it is as if he re-captures that idealistic energy he found when he first began. This is just brilliant.

***** out of 5

 

Gary Numan / Here In The Black- Live At Hollywood Forever Cemetery 2016

Everything Comes Down to This (Live at Hollywood Forever Cemetery)

Gary Anthony James Webb (born 8 March 1958), better known as Gary Numan, is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new wave band Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979.

Most widely known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal 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.

The Analysis—-

I Am Dust—-To have the chance to see Numan live is a pure joy and indescribable experience. On the stage, Numan sheds his Asperger’s and becomes a type of human monster…flailing around on the stage and delivering his darkest sounds possible thanks to new technology and mastery of years of experience. This release, recorded on Halloween, wrapped up the US jaunt of his Here In The Black tour…..it is fitting we begin with this track off Splinter. The crowd is jubilant, and the sound is impeccable…you catch every groan from the synth lines and every nuance that was captured in the studio. Numan sounds literally possessed by the music…..making you feel ice cold and incredibly excited at the same time. This is exquisite.

Metal—-A constant track in Numan’s live shows, this goes way back to the early days of his career. The amped up version plays so well live…you could never tell the date or the age of the song. The guitars are aggressive while still maintaining the irresistible synth line of the original. Numan delivers his trademark whine of a singing voice that brings a smile to my face no matter how many times I hear this.

Everything Comes Down To This—-My favorite track from the Splinter release, I was super excited to see that this was included in the live set. This is not a happy song…I think there were some problems going on during the recording of Splinter with his marriage. But live this is even more intense and devastating. The groans and effects that come from the synths are just amazing….the huge guitar burst make the song a huge masculine love song…Numan pleads for forgiveness and second chances. This is just fantastic.

The Fall—-A huge guitar intro brings out the crashing synth line and beefs up this track like you can’t believe. The aggressive Industrial style keyboards are better than Trent has managed in years. Numan enters with his ghost like vocal and the song settles into a damn catchy melodic affair. This is triumphant. I never gelled with the Jagged CD…but this track is awesome.

Here In The Black—-One of the most mysterious and majestic songs Numan has recorded in recent history, the escalating synth line drives the song and the crowd to near mania. The whispered delivery of the vocal is full of echo’s and a built in atmosphere all of its own. This is just brilliant….it plays so well live….that synth line is to die for.

Films—-Stepping way back in the Numan catalog, films is another track that always lands on my favorites list….along with M.E. The vocal delivery is what makes this song so fantastic….Numan’s whine and the updated synth lines making the song even more powerful. I guess you can tell….I love this man.The original feel of the song is firmly intact…but the added crash of the synths provide an update that makes it even more powerful.

The Calling—-Slowing down the tempo provides a bit of a cool down for the crowd and Numan delivers this incredibly dark rack with mastery. His vocal is so clear and powerful…rising over all of the effects to allow you to feel the loneliness…the despair and the pain. the stage literally swells with emotion as the song progresses…your headphones will literally sob with this delivery. A master!!!

Down In The Park—-It is hard to breathe new life into such an aged track that has been played literally thousands of times. It is always nice to hear this again…but due to overplay it looses some of the shine for me. Consider the age of the track and the story it told way back when, it is phenomenal it still plays so well. A true classic.

Splinter—-The slow and almost maddening build up to this track fills you with anticipation. the sound of this is odd…lots of chants going on in the backdrop of the song and a slight Oriental feel to the music. Numan turns towards his disdain for God for the basis of this song…it plays well and sounds incredibly fresh. The instrumentation that the live band brings to these songs are just incredible…..a fantastic dense depressing track.

Dead Son Rising—-Beginning with a higher tones synth line and a clear and distortion free vocal, Numan delivers this mundane track with a new and fresh approach live. I love this version….the mystery of the track seems to swirl around the stage as the synth becomes almost maddening with repetition. I like this…but sometimes skip over this during casual listening.

A Shadow Falls—-Returning to the deeper synth line, the surprise is when Numan opens his mouth and sings a note which you seldom hear. I am accustomed to the deeper baritone of his voice and to hear him stretch to catch these notes are mesmerizing. This is slow…melodic and full of intensity. Just about perfect.

Lost—-Quiet and introspective, I think this further solidifies the assumption of some personal problems going on in recent years with Gary and Gemma. This is so sad, touching and personal…I can’t imagine what it must be like to play this live and on display for everyone to hear and share. This is phenomenal….getting this piece of him seems like a treasure. The huge burst of energy at the end of the song further cements the urgency and the plea……just incredible.

When The Sky Bleeds—-This is not a favorite track of mine…but the melody line of the song is impossible to ignore. Numan delivers a vocal that is clear and soaring…begging for a reason to continue with life and needing hope. The aggression kicks in and then ebbs….causing you to almost sit on the edge of your seat the entire song. A masterful delivery.

Unforgiven—-Powerful guitars soar above the multi layered synth lines and give this an almost soundtrack feel. Numan enters with his plaintive and begging vocal that makes you pay attention to every single word that is uttered from his psyche. This is intense….dark and driving. A masterpiece of a song that plays better live then on record.

Love Hurt Bleed—-Another track from Splinter that is in the vein of driving NIN synth  lines and Industrial style rock. Numan fits in perfect….delivering his vocal between aggressive bursts of music…this has such a huge backbone…..and the recent trademark Numan sound is all over this track. A masterpiece.

A Prayer For The Unborn—-Sad and introspective with a horn effected synth line, the slight crunches from the other keyboards provide a stark landscape of music for Numan to muse over. This is intense….it has always touched me and made me somewhat sad. That Numan is willing to share such personal moments from his life seem like a privilege to me. This will always remain a favorite track of mine.

Cars—-Over thirty years on, and with major reworking, this track still plays well live. I can’t imagine how sick Numan must be of this song…but he delivers it like it was the first time he has ever preformed it. This is a classic…defining the 80’s….reworked and defining the new Numan generation.

I Die; You Die—-Delving way back in time once again, Numan again manages to stay true to a generation that adored him and still deliver to the generation that view him as a modern God. This has all the trademark synth lines of the original recording…but the huge driving drums add beef and masculinity Numan sounds in such clear voice…you can’t help but pull out old records and give them a re-listen.

Are ‘friends’ Electric?—-One of, if not the oldest track in this song list, this is essential Numan. The song still carries the same alienated feeling and the mastery of the emerging synth machines at the time…but are beefier and so much larger. This is a classic track….I can never tire of this ever……Numan does a great job re-working this.

My Last Day—-Ending this phenomenal show, Numan allows for a slower and darker tense track to say goodbye. This is a gentle ode to his children and perhaps to his fans as well. This is momentous and brilliant. Tender and leaving you walking to your transport shaking your head and whispering to yourself that you have viewed a God in his element.

***** out of 5

 

Gary Numan / Splinter [Songs From A Broken Mind]

Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind)

Gary Anthony James Webb, better known professionally as Gary Numan (born 8 March 1958), is an English singer, songwriter, musician and record producer. Born in Hammersmith, London, he first entered the music industry as the lead singer of the new waveband Tubeway Army. After releasing two albums with the band, Numan released his debut solo album The Pleasure Principle in 1979. Most widely known for his chart-topping hits “Are ‘Friends’ Electric?” and “Cars“, Numan achieved his peak of mainstream popularity in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but maintains a loyal cult following.

Numan, whose signature sound consists of heavy synthesizer hooks fed through guitar effects pedals, is considered a pioneer of commercial electronic music.

Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) is the twentieth studio album by English musician Gary Numan, released on 9 October 2013 by Mortal Records and Cooking Vinyl. The album debuted at number twenty on the UK Albums Chart on sales of 6,187 copies, becoming Numan’s highest-charting album since 1983’s Warriors.

The Analysis—-

I Am Dust—-The Numan of the new century has a very distinctive sound….and from the first strains of this release, you hear it loud and clear. What has never changed is the remarkable sonic yet disassociated vocal.There is a warmth in the music…but a frigid sound to the voice…..full of distaste…pain and loneliness….this is all here in your face. The music is intense….dark and driven by crashing Industrial sounds…but it still has a humanity to it all. This is remarkable.

Here In The Black—-Deep and full of the mechanical effects you would expect, this song opens up with a brilliant synth line that just makes me melt. There is very little that this man could do to make myself distance from him and his music. The vocal is delivered in a manic whisper accompanied by a sparse beat that is full of trademark references to disdain for God and belief. It is that huge synth line that emerges to propel the song that makes it so remarkable. This is just incredible….I love this man.

Everything Comes Down To This—-Without a doubt, my favorite track from this release. The song has a huge actual human element to it….it speaks of difficulties in life and relationships….that despite how famous you may be, life has real problems that will never cease to be. Numan practically begs to be understood and given another chance. He begs for love and understanding. The dissonant vocal makes it even more emotional…while the driving synth on the chorus makes you realize the urgency of the matter at hand.

The Calling—-With a slight higher pitch to  the main keyboard line that runs through the song, this is alas, not much happier. At times, it plays like a soundtrack to a very sad movie. These are personal tales of love…..the danger of losing it….and the battles to keep it. There are magical Industrial sounds throughout the track…keeping everything slightly uneven….as is life. This is remarkable.

Splinter—-Giving off a slight tribal synth line at the onset of the song, the deep hum of sound still lies underneath all of the effects. The keyboard generated female vocal is eerie and flowing and soon Numan enters. Espousing once again on God and his dis-belief…his sense of abandonment and his staunch inability to believe in anything but himself. This is stark….dark and naked…yet full of a remarkable warmth that sucks you in somehow. This is brilliant.

Lost—-Stark…..naked and heartbreaking. There is such a sadness here…it makes me want to know every aspect of this man’s personal life…to know where this pain comes from. The lonely piano that lays the basis for the track is so beautiful that you feel tears in the back of your eyes. The surprise huge explosion of noise towards the end makes you feel the emotion and the pain. This is masterful. Dreadfully sad….but so incredibly real.

Love Hurt Bleed—-Deep at the onset with a creaking synth line that builds and builds until it conjures up early NIN. Numan enters with a more jaunty vocal that is none the less a bit desolate. This track has an incredible pace to it. The ups and downs and the lighter synth lines are a nice break after a few songs of such a personal and dark nature. This is stellar…I can see the flashing strobes from his show in my minds eye….this incredible!

A Shadow Falls On Me—-A very odd higher pitch vocal ushers in this track that has never set well with me. The music is stark and bleak…matching the odd vocal. I don’t really care for this…but I can say the lyrics are real and intense…perhaps that was the purpose all along.

Where I Can Never Be—-Returning to a melody that is very familiar throughout this release, you are welcomed back into the deep somewhat depressed nature of this album. I feel such hurt and sadness listening to this….it is as if the pain is mine….that is true connectivity. This is incredibly real.

We’re The Unforgiven—-Deep but jaunty, with distorted vocal lines at the onset, this reminds me of early Industrial sounds like Nitzer Ebb. The effects give way to a grand sweep that dives back into darkness just as quickly. The one constant is the whine of the pleading vocal…that belies all feeling and makes everything human. Loss….love…need…..pure and simple.The track ends quite noisy and pleading…..just masterful!

Who Are You—-Jaunty and delivered with a driving synth line, again,,,song placement is everything. The vocal is delivered straight forward and without effect….letting you feel all the questions that Numan continually asks that un for seen being we worship. This is brilliant in delivery…..but also in the pace of the incredible synth line.

My Last Day—-Ending the release on a very somber and sedate tone, you can’t….no matter how hard you try….erase the sadness and the difficulties that this record exposed. Taking a man who is so adored and putting such a human face to him made me love him even more. This is a  spectacular album.

***** out of 5