Gary Numan | Dead Son Rising (RED Distribution)

cd gary-numan“The Fall” could easily be a single on alternative radio today; drawing NIN comparisons, it’s a strong display of Numan’s still-apparent talents.


It’s so nice to hear Gary Numan’s voice again that I’ll overlook the fact that Dead Son Rising, his commendable new release, draws more from the 1990s than the 200s or even this decade. Reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails or VAST, Dead Son Rising is a mix of industrial, electronica, experimental, and gentle singer-songwriter sounds. All that isn’t to say that the styles are too disparate to work; rather, quite the opposite. The new offering further stretches Numan’s many talents, managing to sound fresh while also somewhat familiar.

Disc opener “Resurrection” is an instrumental introduction to the world of Numan, playing with the aural landscape through turns both gentle and hard, laid back and in-your-face. “Big Noise Transmission” is the mostVAST-like, a wall of noise behind Numan’s darkly whispered words; “For the Rest of My Life” fits neatly into this category, as well—though its acoustic reprise, along with “Into Battle,” are dreamy and quiet.

The title track is a bit more old-school Numan, or even David Sylvian’s landmark soundscape band Japan. Listening to the tentative “Not the Love We Dream Of,” I can’t help but think of “Are Friends Electric?” from Numan’s 1979 album Replicas. “Love” is a dreamy exploration of piano and near-whispered lyrics. “The Fall” could easily be a single on alternative radio today; though it draws immediate NIN comparisons (who, for the record, drew inspiration from Numan), it’s a strong display of Numan’s still-apparent talents. Similar in sound is “When the Sky Bleeds He Will Come.” A piano reprise of “Not the Love We Dream Of,” is a lovely way to close the disc.

Dead Son Rising is a welcome return for new wave pioneer Gary Numan, yet another recent release which finds ’80s legends still in the game. B- | Laura Hamlett

RIYL: Nine Inch Nails, VAST, Japan, Brian Eno

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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