After the stylistic left-turn of the previous album `Dance', Gary Numan returned to more familiar territory on `I Assassin'.
The catchy tunes were back, along with Numan's trademark Vox Humana synth-lead and a slick `funk' groove courtesy of this album's ace card, the incomparable Pino Palladino, whose complex and fluid fretless basslines drive every track.
The album features mostly mid-to-fast tempo songs with very little light and shade, although `A Dream of Siam' and the blusey curio `The 1930's Rust' do provide some relief from Chris Slade's (later of AC/DC!) relentless dry rock drumming.
`I Assassin' sired three great singles, `Music For Chameleons', `We Take Mystery' and the utterly brilliant `White Boys And Heroes'. If the album is a masterclass in fretless bass, then `White Boys And Heroes' is surely the final lesson, and is still one of my all-time favourite Numan tracks.
This release also includes the B-sides of those singles, which are a remarkable set of songs in their own right. There is the instrumental `Glitter and Ash', the shimmering `War Games', fan-favourite `Noise Noise', an interesting early version of `We Take Mystery' and `The Image Is', which joins `White Boys And Heroes' as a personal fave.
Only the unappealing nonsense of 'Bridge? What Bridge', with the hideous guests Dollar clearly taking the p*ss, lets the side down. No matter.
Finally, for completists there is also a superb outtake from the sessions 'This House Is Cold' which sits very neatly with the similar 'This Is My House' and the dark, jarring title track.
In summary then, I love this album and expect you will too.