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FOUR INCH NAILS,
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This review is from: Dead Son Rising (Audio CD)
First off i love Gary Numan for those spectacular early albums,for the sheer persitence of him when his career hit unimaginable lows.1992 Gary Numan was almost distressing to see,he looked beyond awful,you could virtually feel his soul die as he got interviewd on some weird show presented by the likes of Linda Lucardi.The faith and loyalty of his audience is something i respect and no one was happier when Numan emerged as key influences to young trendy artists then me.
But you know i have to take Dead Son Rising as strictly an album on its own merits,free of bias.Whilst textually its interesting there is an undeniable boredom i begin to experience whilst listening.The songs i am sure are meant to be monolithic,dark noise but it all begins to merge into a dirgey,sound almost comically "dark".Previous albums such as Exile and Pure were VAST improvements on Numans lamentable mid period career but the complete preoccupation with GOD became frankly tedious,i think Numan must have referenced god around a thousand times in his last few albums.
Kind of howling at the moon,personally for me atheists and religious people share far more in common then they would care to admit in their rigid doctrines.
I could not help think of Spinal Tap,that scene where we see there new album sleeve is all black,blacker then black.My absolute wish would be for someone like Trent Reznor to take production duties.Numan left to his own devices can be his own worst enemy.
Returning to the religion theme,i find it weird that someone who questions so many facets of god is constantly questioning and validating this figure.
Numan needs metaphor or some abstractions lyrically.To be fair Dead Son Rising doesn't feature so much about this theme.I couldn't help thinking why doesn't Numan concentrate more on soundtrack music?Ambient stuff?
I believe Gary's wife saved him from an abyss,instilling in Gary confidence and direction,far better then the woeful advice of family members,record companies etc.It is clear as day Gary and his missus kneel at the altar of Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode,who wouldn't?But Numan is,or sadly was,an artist of good stature in his own right.He doesn't need to do a parody of a parody.He seems to be painting himself into another box.
I want to see Numan experimenting like he did brillantly with Battles,performing savage versions of Metal with Nails not painting his fingernails black,mumbling about god on stage in a cliched cloud of smoke.
Pure served this purpose of being an industrial goth.One of the great things about Numan was how like Bowie he shifted looks,styles.Hes been doing this dark guff too long.Dead Son Rising is more a curiosity piece,i don't think i will be listening to it a lot.
BUT please know i love Gary Numan and mean no disrespect to the Numanoids out there,i just feel Numan could be doing so much more.