This is perhaps the best album I got last year, though it does have some pretty stiff competition. It was heartening to see Numan's career return from the grave of a decade of tired rehashing and watering down of his original sound. Now, with Exile (and the previous album Sacrifice) Numan has taken a totally new direction, adding a gothic/coldwave element to his music and (hold your breath) actually singing. He ahs a pretty good voice for it, too-- why he spent decades in that monotone schtick I don't know. This album is a concept album, and a fine one at that-- the premise being that God and the Devil, Heaven and Hell are really just the same. Thus, if you're easily offended by strong contrarian religious themes, stay away. This isn't christian rock crap like DC Talk or ooh-I'm-such-a-scary-satanist drivel like Marilyn Manson. This is the real thing, with Numan's lyrics and music better than they've been in years. On a sad note, though, Cleopatra Records botched up the U.S. release (par for the course for them) by hastily slapping a live version of Down In the Park at the end. I know DITP is Numan's most famous (and probably the only remembered) song in America, after having been covered by such crowd-pleasers as Foo Fighters and the aforementioned Marilyn Manson, but the live version isn't anything spectacular, and it totally ruins the flow of the album. But that's nothing too horrific, and the album is so good it makes up for it. I reccomend the extended version of Exile (soon to be released in America) over the regualr version, but that may be because I loved the album and the extended mixes make it 1.5 times as long.