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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous atmospheric production piece
As a fan of 80s music and 80s production, I was in heaven when I discovered this. It might be a 'marmite' thing...but I love marmite!

Only a recent discoverer of Numan despite being aware of Cars (etc.) for many years. I was amazed to find albums like this. It's sad that Gary doesn't like this period, perhaps because it wasn't so successful for him. However, it...
Published on 13 Aug 2011 by Hysteria

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably more strange than charm.
This album came at an awkward time indeed for Mr Numan. Radio support was gone. Slating press revues made a turn for the even worse: non existent. It seemed the whole media world was on a mission to erase him. No wonder Numan was well and truely out of fashion with everyone who either blindly followed what they read in the music weeklys, or who's ears couldn't reach past...
Published on 27 April 2006 by heavyredsky


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous atmospheric production piece, 13 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
As a fan of 80s music and 80s production, I was in heaven when I discovered this. It might be a 'marmite' thing...but I love marmite!

Only a recent discoverer of Numan despite being aware of Cars (etc.) for many years. I was amazed to find albums like this. It's sad that Gary doesn't like this period, perhaps because it wasn't so successful for him. However, it didn't stop him creating a masterpiece of 80s production work.

I think the songs are very good on this album, far more 'catchy' than, say, Berserker, which appeared to be the start of this kind of production. Not that Beserker isn't good, this is far better. Metal Rhythm, to my ear, possibly has better 'pop' songs, and also fabulous production, but this one has the most atmosphere.

Numan obviously knows/knew how to pick the right engineers, programmers etc. I can't imagine it sounding better if Trevor Horn produced it.

If you like moody albums that are laden with reverb and big, effective use of dynamics (very rare these days), you'll love it. Think of a CD equivalent of Blade Runner.

I should note that I've only heard this remaster so don't know if previous releases were as good. The remastered itself should be given lots of credit, dynamics and sound quality have clearly been the priority, so don't expect it smashed to today's levels, the volume control is your friend :o)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Its not that bad!, 3 Jun 2008
By 
S. Reid "happy_daze" (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
Strange Charm has come in for alot of stick down the years (as well as on Amazon judging by some of the comments here). I cant pretend its a classic in the mould of his early albums (Replicas, The Pleasure Principle, Telekon) nor can I say its up there with his later industrial period (Exile, Pure, Jagged). It is, however, one of the better albums of his middle period and deserves a second chance.

First off, its very "of its time". Numan had jealously watched the rise of the Pet Shop Boys and the all conquering Frankie Goes To Hollywood at a time when he couldnt get his own records played on the radio. This (new) anger propels not only the lyrics but the sound as well. Its a mix of early 80's synth pop, high energy disco, Trevor Horn inspired slabs of percussive synth and Numan's own brand of sci fi dystopian gravitas. A heady mix that just about hangs together due to the quality of the songwriting throughout.

The title track in particular is a guargantuan disco stomp that sounds so of its time it could be an artefact in an 80's museum. But its also got a chorus to die for and a great verse hook that spins the song into another dimension in a way dullards like Dead Or Alive couldnt even dream about. The Bill Sharpe collaboration attempts to do a West End Girls and pretty much suceeds. The Blade Runner sampling opener (My Breathing)is a winner as well.

So, all in all, I think this album has been abit unfairly treated. Added to the fact that this remastered edition contains a slew of extra tracks I would recommend a purchase. It has alot more going for it than its predecessor (The Fury) and the albums that followed (Metal Rhythm and Outland - more one dimensional than Strange Charm).

Give it a chance...you just may be pleasantly surprised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably more strange than charm., 27 April 2006
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
This album came at an awkward time indeed for Mr Numan. Radio support was gone. Slating press revues made a turn for the even worse: non existent. It seemed the whole media world was on a mission to erase him. No wonder Numan was well and truely out of fashion with everyone who either blindly followed what they read in the music weeklys, or who's ears couldn't reach past the (then at least) narrow tastebuds of daytime radio. Dark days and a real test of faith for the Numanoids.

On Strange Charm, Numan tackles a few of these issues head on and when he does, boy does it work. My Breathing has irresistible airy eastern atmospheric effects over a situation in which he describes he will "pick up the pieces" after the "assassination by the radio". "I can't stop for all your stories" he states on the soaring chorus of I can't stop. Fighting stuff and the power is transfered straight to the listener. He really bears his heart over the industrial minimalism of The Sleeproom, "this isn't evil,this is a sound", "this is uncertain,this is unsound...". Really haunting. As is the bonus ballad, Time to die, where he takes a glimpse at a possibly bleak future and references what it would be like with no more concerts or recordings: "no Exhibition, no screaming War Song, no Conversation, no more opinions here". But unfortunatly these are among the few of the albums highlights.

Elsewhere the struggle is all too evidently eating away at the creative juices. The all out attack of Unknown and Hostile is oversmothered by sax and girl vocals. I can't stop is overstretched into it's 5 min version and oversells its girl vocal at the price of the original single issues impact. He even forsakes a Numan principle by borrowing the Sharpe and Numan single New thing from London town, although it's disco throb has its merits, it sounds just a tad out of place. As for The Need, this really is the pits of bad disco/funk, not a thing to recommend here, the overbearing girl vocals and pointless sax say it all. The meshing of synths and rock guitars works for the title track Strange Charm, but is marred by its sameiness to other songs. By the time we reach the pretty piano based ballad, This is love, it's all been such hard work its hard to take it all in.

At least the 5 spine tingling bonus tracks here offer a breath of fresh air at the end and vindicate just what we all see in this man.

This is a piece of Numan history that was overshadowed by doubt, dwindling faith and preconceptions. How it sounds now to fresh ears I will never know. Probably more Strange than Charm.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DISCOEY !!!!!!!, 18 Mar 2006
By 
JUAN MARTIN GABASTOU (Weston Hills, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
After his collaborations with keyboardist Bill Sharpe of Shakatak,Numan temporarily dropped his funk influences to record this very disco-influenced lp.There's some excellent if electronic industrial percussion job intertwined with the downright disco dance floor beats,lots of sax,
female backing vocals and the most welcome return of slick guitars to his work.Like most re-releases,the excellent choice of bonus tracks make the purchase worth the while.Superb ballads, intrumentals and 2 slow but crunching industrial songs,not unlike those he's making nowadays close the cd like a triumphant war cry.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS NOT THE Strange Charm Album it suggests, 21 Nov 2011
Firstly the poor rating is not for the content. I am a great Gary Numan fan and was hoping here to purchase a copy of the 1986 Strange Charm album that i have on vinyl. I MUST STRESS (as it appears that this review is being aligned to more than one item???) this review is for the item on the PIE label with reference to "live cuts; hits and rarities" not the Eagle label version which is in fact the remastered album i was looking for with bonus tracks.

In the absence of a track listing i assumed that since all other reviews attached to this product don't seem to impy that it is not in fact that album and coupled with the actual product description that mentions that it includes the 12" remix of "New Thing from London Town" it appeared to be what i was looking for (incidentally the aforementioned remix does not appear on this compilation at all).

Simply put it is just a compilation of tracks from differing periods and should not be associated with the original album at all.

I feel that the product description and associated reviews are misleading and certainly do not related to this particula item at all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Numan Moves Towards His Nadir, 10 Feb 2012
By 
Pink (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
By Gary Numan's high standards, `Strange Charm' is a pretty rum affair and when I listen back through his catalogue this is one of the albums I look forward to the least.

By this time Gary was composing solely for the PPG Wave sampler/sequencer and the album suffers from the same hard, soul-less sound as its predecessor `The Fury'. But where the `The Fury' was just about saved by Numan's peerless songwriting, his muse seemed to have deserted him for `Strange Charm'.

Aside from the stunningly good opening track `My Breathing' (surely one of his best songs of the era), the rest of `Strange Charm' is filler. From the clunking monotony of the title track and the parpy `The Need' right through to the maudlin `This is Love' and uninspired drabness of `The Sleeproom' and `Unknown and Hostile', they're all duds. Only the two versions of the singles `I Can't Stop' and 'New Thing From London Town' included here lift the grim mood of the album a little, and B-sides 'Time To Die' and 'Survival' do deserve a respectful nod.

If you're a fan, you'll already own at least one copy of `Strange Charm. But if you're new to Numan, steer well clear. I'd recommend you start somewhere earlier in his catalogue, or with any releases from 1994 onwards.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christ, 12 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Strange Charm (MP3 Download)
My Breathing is at the same time shamefull and saving. This was the first "trashy" Numan-Record with the last hit on it. And it fits well with the record. I got a problem with this record. Like everybody.The opener is too classy compared with the rest of this record. I'm deranged. I guess even The Mission and John-Paul Jones felt in love with the first song. It's so Numan. It's about almost hopeless revenge,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Numan's most underrated album., 4 Jan 2008
By 
M. Evans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
Strange Charm is an album that seems to have been dismissed by critics (and a lot of Numan fans), probably as it came out at a low point in his career when a lot of his music was a rather bland, electro-funk style. However it is far better than any of his preceding 3 or 4 albums and most of his subsequent ones until 1994's Sacrifice. Coming straight after the dreadful The Fury (if you want to hear just where Numan went wrong check that out), Strange Charm is a huge improvement. Opening track My Breathing, despite still featuring the ubiquitous female vocals and sax music, is one of his best tracks for ages, really melodic and atmospheric, but it's The Sleeproom that is the album's real highlight. There's not a female backing vocalist or cheesy sax note to be heard on this moody and melodic track and it conjures up a really dark atmosphere of the sort he wouldn't be able to do again until 1994's "Sacrifice". It's magnificent and one of the best tunes of his career. Unkown & Hostile, I Can't Stop, Strange Charm and New Thing From London Town are more upbeat, "pop" tunes but good ones and the only duff moment is the rather dire "The Need". "Time To Die" while plagarised from the movie Blade Runner, is an excellent, haunting track. The bonus tracks are superb too, with Survivial and River being some of his best ever instrumental work.
I would rate Strange Charm as Numan's second best album of the 80's after Telekon, mainly due to the strength of The Sleeproom and My Breathing. A shame Gary couldn't have produced more gems like these as there was still a lot more dross to come.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular, 9 Oct 2009
This review is from: Strange Charm (MP3 Download)
Before you ask, i'm not a numanoid. So i'm not just saying this because i "can't say a bad word against Gary"

Speaking to you as a fan of 80s music, this album is truly spectacular. Not a bad track on the album with lashings of moody, atmospheric synth
scattered amongst the tracks.

Buy it, listen to it all, you won't regret it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars schizophrenic charm, 23 Mar 2007
By 
olofpalme63 (auf der flucht!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Strange Charm (Audio CD)
Gary Numan's dance trend reaches scattered heights in the disco-tronic 80's. Confusion and perhaps blatant redundancy cloud whatever direction Numan is trying to approach in the post-modern era on this 1986 "Numa" release. A river patrol to sax highlighted dance floors perhaps.

...however, the schizophrenic "Strange Charm" yields 3 classics in "My Breathing", "The Sleeproom" and "Time To Die". Strange in the fact that Time To Die was left off the first pressing of this CD. Even more strange is that it was only available on cassette. Did anyone still buy 45's in the mid 80's? Strange Charm indeed.

note; this review is for the original 1986 "PRT Ltd" cassette release which contained "Time To Die".

olofpalme63
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Strange Charm
Strange Charm by Gary Numan (Audio CD - 2002)
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