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3.1 out of 5 stars
14
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2001
This was the first Gary Numan album I didn't have to defend, when playing to my friends! Sure it borrows liberally from Janet Jackson, and even Robert Palmer, but as Gary said himself "We all live in the same museum, we all rearrange the same old songs". To what effect! This album marks a departure from his previous stuff, and gives a suggestion of where he was to head subsequently. Why only four stars? Because he just keeps getting better! Do yourself a favour - buy this!
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This album shows the growing leanings towards funk Gary Numan had adopted circa 91.Funkier than ever before,VERY Prince-influenced,this album is a hard hitting one,with excellent guitar performance and exquisite percussion programming.It has some nice ballads too.Starts out and out funk and gets more industrial towards the end.Gazza's voice is surprisingly less processed on most of this album's songs than on previous offerings,making for a nice,more natural variation.The sound is very good but the remastered version has gorgeous bonus tracks:River and Mistasax,which are 2 nice instrumentals,the excellent Shame single,and two remixes of My World Storm that are way better than the lp version.
Not an essential purchase for the average Numan fun but a treat for those of us who enjoy funk rock with the classic Numan signature.
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on 12 February 2006
This albums predecessor was the slick hard hitting electro pop funk of 1988's Metal Rhythm. Although in some ways Metal Rhythm continued to divide Numan's fans. On one side, some were still longing for the darker analogue synths of old. On the other side many reckoned it to be his best effort yet! So where to go next?
With Numan retreating into his new built home studio (which gave this album it's name: Outland) perhaps we could expect some tech-heavy things. With sequencers and samplers aplenty, in some ways this is what we got, but not quite. They are there, but they are buried under all the overdubs.
Maybe the new heavy funk direction would be turned up a bit. The Prince like diva vocals and chick a lickin' guitars are there, but without the heavyweight production budget, we don't quite get them properly either.
Maybe Numan, alone, without anyone looking over his shoulder, would indulge into some of the heart wrenching songwriting or pop suss we all know he can be capable of. But with the hits drying up and his fans divided anyway, his confidence sliding, we don't get that either. Here Numan leans far too heavily on others ideas, Prince, Cameo, Janet Jackson to name a few, to let his own personality shine through.
Even his record company weren't sure where to go. As a result the album was re-altered, re-edited and overdubbed into oblivion. The finish, sounding far too tinny and over produced.
Perhaps if any of these areas had been tackled in a whole hearted manner, although opinion would inevitably have been divided, it may have been a stronger piece.
As it stands, Outland tries so hard to please all of the people all of the time, mostly it fails in every corner.
Never mind. There were better times ahead. If you're a Numan bystander either go for the earlier stuff (Pleasure Principle etc) or the later stuff (Jagged or Pure).
Only hardcore fans may find anything of real interest here.
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on 20 June 2015
When an artist entitles link pieces as 'intervals', they have either been 'got at' by an over zealous producer, or have run out of inspiration. Probably the latter, as Numan produced this. More electro funk durge from '91. Gary is again following musical trends in a vain attempt to lift record sales. Best tracks are when he slows it down and let's his true songwriting genius out, like Dream Killer, Heart and Whisper. A collectors piece really. And for those anchoring for a bit of nostalgia.
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This album shows the growing leanings towards funk Gary Numan had adopted circa 91.Funkier than ever before,VERY Prince-influenced,this album is a hard hitting one,with excellent guitar performance and exquisite percussion programming.It has some nice ballads too.Starts out and out funk and gets more industrial towards the end.Gazza's voice is surprisingly less processed on most of this album's songs than on previous offerings,making for a nice,more natural variation.The sound is very good but the remastered version has gorgeous bonus tracks:River and Mistasax,which are 2 nice instrumentals,the excellent Shame single,and two remixes of My World Storm that are way better than the lp version.

Not an essential purchase for the average Numan fun but a treat for those of us who enjoy funk rock with the classic Numan signature.
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on 2 August 2016
I enjoy this album each time I listen to it, I think there are some excellent tracks on here, it's not my favourite Numan album but I give it 4 stars because I believe it gets knocked too much as if it has no merit at all. Overall it's a good funky electronic album with some good sampling that's quite atmospheric and creepy, this album grows on you the more you hear it, this 1999 remaster is very good in sound quality and has a nice 12 page booklet with some extra tracks too.
If you're a true Numan fan then you must have this in your collection.
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on 1 September 2015
I must admit, it took me quite some time to actually appreciate this one, when I first listened to it, it didn't strike me as a very good piece. I even thought at the time that the said "dreadful" Machine and Soul was better but it sort of grew on me. Some of the lyrics are certainly not his best, but mixing electro-funk with some Predator and Blade Runner samples is something rather unexpected. Definitely not the easiest thing to listen to if you are used to his earlier stuff, but rather enjoyable if you give it a chance.
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on 2 January 2008
Outland is undoubtedly a weak entry in Numan's back-catalogue. Most of the tracks are very bland, repetetive, electro-funk with an over-reliance on female backing vocals (a weakness of nearly all his albums from the mid-eighties to early nineties. Most of the tracks just kind of pass you by without having any impact, they're not bad exactly, just unremarkable. However there are a couple of hidden gems on here: the moody ballad Dream Killer and the brilliantly funky My World Storm, which is actually one of my fave Numan songs. Two of the bonus tracks, Shame and Tread Careful are also very good, better than most of the main tracks actually. If you're new to Numan, I wouldn't start here, but it's still worht a listen.
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on 13 February 2012
Whenever I listen back through Gary Numan's catalogue, this is the album that I always look forward to the least. Since its release in 1990 I have tried to like it and hoped desperately that it would grow on me, but to be honest the appeal of `Outland' still eludes me today.

After the upbeat and focussed `Metal Rythmn' I was astonished at the musical decline between that album and `Outland' and hearing it for the first time made me so sad.

It's difficult to pinpoint what makes `Outland' so weak; it could be the total lack of memorable songs; it could be the cold sequenced same-iness of every track; it could be the thin, clattery rythmn programming; it could even be the risible lyrics, repetitive nonsense about `disease' and `infection'. But whatever it is, the result of this unhappy combination is a hollow, joyless experience.

Of course, there are no highlights to speak of, but `Outland' does contain the wretched `Heart' (arguably the most justifiably ignored single of his career) and gaps between lowlights are filled by the pointless `Interval' links, which are little more than a series of `atmospheric' noises.

Numan himself always points out next album `Machine' & Soul' as his creative low-point but for me, that is here on `Outland' and it seems apt that he is on his knees on the cover. Fortunately great things were still to come, but at this point the nadir had truly been reached and there is no indication in this music of the massive creative resurgence that he would later experience.

Can't recommend this one, sorry...it will just make you sad too.
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on 7 November 2015
Hunted down the re-master for the extra tracks, and also to compare to the original IRS CD I bought on week of release. To be honest it doesn't sound very different, which is disappointing, and many tracks still lack any real bass clarity. There are a few good tracks here, and it is not the worst album Gary has released (Machine & Soul, anyone?), but the follow up was far better focussed, and didn't sound like it had been over-dubbed to the hilt to try and get commercial approval.

Also prefer the foldout artwork on the original CD, which is easier to read. However great to have the remixes of My World Storm on there, even if the RSW remixes of My Friends Electric (b-side of Heart 12" and also the semi-promo US 12" of MWS) are omitted.
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