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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2006
NO. No it is not. Not if this was what he was rustling up (as well as the lil'chidder numans). Good work cocker, you've really put your foot to some backside right here! Absolutely excellent album, the worst track on it would still be probably one of my favourites of all time. I express a particular liking for the tracks "Fold", "In a Dark Place" and "Scanner", but it's too hard to pick real favourites, they're all great.
The numan sound changes so much, from the ice-clad, disconjugated synth jiggery-pokery of 25 years ago, down into the shoddy depths of funk and out into the bright, shining new world of kinda industrial, kinda metallic but very dark renaissance. This new album really has some darkness in it, but not to the point of indulgence. It's deep and brooding and then its wailing in your ear with mutant rhythms and scary cellos. I've got to say, this is better than sacrifice, exile and pure by some significant degrees of magnitude and those were spectacularly good albums. So spend your money people.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2006
You mention Gary Numan to the non converted and they reply "Oh its that bloke that did cars and crashed planes innit?" Well they have not listened to his last few albums have they? Its been about five years since 'Pure' album and 'Jagged' has been well worth waiting for. Numan style has changed a huge amount over his 28 year career. The pioneer of synth music, this still features heavyly on this album which is a good thing. Every track twists and turns from soft vocals building to crushing heavy beats with catchy melodies, you just have to sing along. The album opens with 'Pressure' an atmospheric track laying out the blueprint for what is to come. 'Fold' a very old style Numan track with rising synths and traditional vocals stepping back to 'Sacrifice album'. 'In a dark place' Builds on the first two versus to a brilliant corus that will stick in your head for days. 'Haunted' Do you like Rammstein? 'Blind' Who said Numan can't sing? listen to this. This quality continues through to the final track 'Jagged' with its Manson style menace vocals and heavy Nu Metal tones. Unlike most modern albums that have three or four good tracks and the rest just filling in and some you have to eject from the player before the end. 'Jagged' hooks you and you can,t let go, you play it over and over again. Buy it, then see him live!! A masterpiece of musical engineering.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2006
Jagged sees Numan once again assaulting the industrial genre with an album of enormous claustrophobic anthems that are certainly hard to ignore. 2000 saw him re-emerge to critical acclaim with the guitar led Manson/NIN-esque Pure and followed in 2003 by the astounding double CD of re-works Hybrid. Jagged is the latest chapter of this re-invention. Is it any good?
Well, it's taken nearly 6 years to come to production and it's not a bad album at all. Hybrid hinted at a more electronic direction as opposed to Pure's gutiar focus and Jagged takes a more electronic slant on the themes raised in Pure. The addition of superb dense production by Ade Fenton and Sulpher with contributions from Andy Gray and NIN's one time drummer, give Numan a real contemporary inventive edge that should see Jagged get deserved critical acclaim.
It's perhaps not as arresting as Pure, but has it's own true merits. Opener Pressure eases you inot the album with expansive Eastern tinged atmospheres and processed in your face guitar riffs. The truly massive Halo, In A Dark Place, Haunted, Melt and Jagged are the high points, by an inch, in a well packaged album. Unlike perhaps all his previous albums, there's the welcome absence of the wishy washy ballad - all the tracks on Jagged are thudding relentless battle ram affairs that pound your speakers mercilessly.
In all, it's a good effort, if a little flawed. Yes, there's the continual presence of that piano motif, the obsession with serial killers and God, but it does work and I'd recommend it.
2006 is supposed to be a busy year for the Numan enterprise, with plenty of music set to be released. If Jagged is the opener, the year promises to be interesting and successful in the Numan camp.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
It's a long, long time ago now, but when Gary Numan first appeared on Top Of The Pops with Tubeway Army, we actually sat around the next day at school trying to decide whether or not he was actually a robot or not! Simpler times.
Of course, he was actually an electronic and industrial pioneer, and his touch is to be seen on the recordings of every single industrial act that has followed, whether they care to admit it or not. And that is a problem, not only for Mr Numan, but for every 'legend'. Where do you go next?
There's nothing sadder than an icon trying to reinvent themselves and stay current. Which is why there's a lot to be said for artists not trying - hello Andrew Eldritch! Which may be why "Jagged" is his first studio album in over five years.
But Numan has decided to go down the relevant road by recruiting underground electronic artist DJ Ade Fenton as his co-producer. At least it's a road he (and we) recognise, so ther's no bhangra beats here. What we do get is a very, very dark album which careers between the melancholy, the aggressive and the apocalyptic.
Long time fans are going to love this, but it's not going to win over many new converts. Which is a shame, because with his trademark vocal sneer married to dark beats, some live drums and driving guitars, this is his best work in a decade.
There's even some potential for chart action here with “In A Dark Place”, especially, having enough links to the world of rawk to drag in a few Rammstein / Manson fans along the way. But he hasn't forgotten the synth fans who've stuck with throughout the forgotten years and they will be stroking their Sequential Fugues with icy pleasure when they hear “Blind”.
Lyrically, he's not a happy bunny, but then a happy Gary Numan would be a bit silly, really. However, this is an excellent album, which will cement rather than lessen his reputation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2010
I really really wanted to rave about this Album, I have been a long standing fan of the much maligned Numan since as early as 1977.

For me it just didn't quite live up to the excellence of the previous 'Pure' Album, full of spiteful, spitting lyrics, vicious avalanches of sound and catchy, insistent rythms. Even the spare and metronomic 'Exile' album, full of drum loops and cyclic repetition got far more airplay on my CD than 'Jagged'.

That Mr. Numan has taken yet another tack and not doled out a version of the same as last time is to be applauded, but for some reason I have not quite pinned down, it kind of missed the mark with me. Maybe the songs were all too 'samey'. Plodding and dirge like, they were like a car engine spinning over and not quite catching.

Anyway, if you like Numan, this is a worthy addition to any collection. It may be on Spotify by now, so cadge a listen and if you like it, do the decent thing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2008
Having had to wait nearly 6 years for a new album from Mr Numan, I found Jagged to be a huge let down. There had been a good progression from 1994's Sacrifice to 2000's Pure, but here he dosen't seem to have moved on at all, instead giving us the same industrial/goth/metal stuff he's been peddling for the last 13 years. The main problem is that it just isn't that good. Aside from one standout track (Blind) the rest is just a forgettable dirge. I think Numan seems to have got stuck in a bit of a rut, and it really is time he changed his style. He's successfully changed his look/style and sound constantly over the years, but now he dosen't seem to know where to go next. Personally, I'd like to see a return to the more electronic/ futurism of his earlier years which is definaltey his greatest strength. I enjoyed his darker, heavier phase but it's starting to get tiresome and predictable. Time for a new direction Gary!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I'm writing this from the floor,where this cd has left me after my first listen.The opening track,more of an intro than a proper song,is the silk glove whith which you are challenged by what is to come: an iron fist that'll knock you out !! Mantric yet so powerful you'll listen to it with clenched jaws.Gone are all traces of electro-pop an full industrial mayhem comes through your speakers.This album combines the positive aspects of Sacrifice and Exile but devoided of their weak points.Guitars are scarcer than ever but when they kick in,they CUT .The synths are corrosive and the choruses massive.The live drumming is a breath of fresh air that makes the tracks sound rockier than ever.The studio version of Haunted,contrary to expected,SMOKES the live one we'd been listening for the past years.The production is almost flawless (I'd have welcome some more upper treble) the bottom end is a virtual EARTHQUAKE,and the midrange is loud and clear. There's no doubt this album will be loved by the industrial crowd more than ever.The last studio Numan album I'd given a 5 star review was Telekon (1980).He's back with a vengeance against all those who said he was finished and would release nothing but the second part of Pure. This is undoubtedly another landmark album for us older fans who are not scared away by this new sound.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2006
Well, I bought the CD and listened to it in the car this morning. My first reaction was that this was more of the same. Then, after listening with my ears rather than my preconceptions,(derived from reviews mostly!) I realised that this is pretty different stuff. You have to keep listening because the songs build and some come right out of left field. People have used words such as anthemic and soaring, and in places they are right. I'd also use intelligent, surprising and in places, bloody genious!
I really, really enjoyed it. I would suggest to those gainsayers that Gary Numan writes for himself. He learnt from trying to please others, and by doing so, does!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2006
A powerful, souring album with hints of previous work to the new work also. It is obviously Gary just having fun and doing what he enjoys doing. Lyrically Gary achieves what he had tried to with Pure...., looking at the psychology of the darker side of all of us. Many will bang on about Gary and his views on religion. They are not reading the lyrics but pushing an agenda. Sure religion is in just about all songs but most people who go dark do so with a form of religious belief - be it an over-zealous apetite to push it or to knock it...., or to twist and use it to their own end. So why would you not expect references to it in an album about our inner feelings and fears. Listen again guys and you'll find a piece of yourself in there that you may not want to admit is really there.
Using live drums again adds a new power, and Gary shows that his voice is as strong as ever, even may be refinding some of the qualities that were lost in his lost years. Awesome, and although we have waited a long time, we should also realize that Gary has a life and has been through some personal lows before Pure and better times after Pure - instead of chritisise, appreciate that he has had some good things happen, and appreciate what he has given.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2006
Buy this album, sit down quietly and put your headphones on. After Gary's monolithic "Pure" of 5 years ago you might not get this one first listen. I didnt, but you know what? Its a belter.
I dont know whether Gary puts subliminal messages into his music but the more i play it, the more i want it. This was probably one of the hardest albums Gary has ever had to make.
"Pure" was never an easy one to follow as it hits you first play. "Jagged" does not... but beware listener because it'll creep under your skin and worm its way into your psyche. Listen with care this is a killer of an album.
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