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Gary Numan - Intruder (Album Review)

Monday, 07 June 2021 Written by Graeme Marsh

Having spent a number albums chasing the success of his earliest monster hits with little success, synth-pop legend Gary Numan seems to have enjoyed a resurgence of sorts in recent years. Since 2011’s indifferent ‘Dead Son Rising’ his work has delved into a patchwork of industrial-goth sounds with striking purpose, leading recent albums to almost blend into one another.

But, tellingly, they collectively represent a massive improvement upon the wilderness years that followed 1979’s ‘The Pleasure Principle’, so much so that you can’t blame the man for sticking to a formula having taken so long to find another winning one.

This run began with the impressive ‘Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)’ in 2013, followed by 2017’s ‘Savage (Songs From A Broken World)’ and ‘Intruder’ now draws a line under a trilogy of sorts.

And while the previous two albums told of depression and an apocalyptic insight into the future of the world, ‘Intruder’ hits out at climate change and its effect on Earth from mother nature’s perspective.

There are clues aplenty in the song titles themselves (Betrayed, And It Breaks Me Again) as well as an abundance of sorrowful lyrics telling of pain, ruin and death. The questions Numan poses are unambiguous: “How could you?” (The Chosen) and “Do you regret?” (I Am Screaming). 

Musically, despite the similarities to his previous two LPs, memorable melodies still manage to peek out from beneath the blanket of gloom. On the title track a soaring chorus rises from the depths of despair, and the trick is neatly repeated on later highlight Saints and Liars.

The finest moments on ‘Intruder’ follow this trait of producing majestic peaks that scythe through the haunting atmospherics with cinematic magnificence. Opener Betrayed is epic, its glowing instrumental passages in particular, and The Gift is similarly chilling, as though it is ushering in an eerie warning. Is This World Not Enough is menacing, coming across like a James Bond theme tune beyond the confines of its title.

Closing with the resignation of The End of Dragons (“now as the world dies”), ‘Intruder’ ends with the prediction we all fear. Numan isn’t going to aid any attempts at a reversal of fortunes for Earth, but it may make a handful of people stop and think, as there’s nothing uplifting here. It’s overwhelmingly dark, but ‘Intruder’ is another of Numan’s success stories.

Gary Numan Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu April 28 2022 - CARDIFF University Great Hall
Sat April 30 2022 - BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Sun May 01 2022 - BRIGHTON Centre
Mon May 02 2022 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute
Thu May 05 2022 - BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Fri May 06 2022 - PLYMOUTH Pavilions
Sat May 07 2022 - LONDON SSE Arena Wembley
Mon May 09 2022 - EDINBURGH Corn Exchange
Tue May 10 2022 - GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Wed May 11 2022 - NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 City Hall
Thu May 12 2022 - LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Sat May 14 2022 - NORTHAMPTON Royal and Derngate
Sun May 15 2022 - NORWICH UEA
Mon May 16 2022 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Wed May 18 2022 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Fri May 20 2022 - SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Tue May 24 2022 - DUBLIN Olympia Theatre

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