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CD: Gary Numan – Dead Son Rising | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Gary Numan – Dead Son Rising

CD: Gary Numan – Dead Son Rising

Is the Cliff Richard of futurism still flying high after all these years?

Gary Numan: back in black? He's never been out of it

Gary Numan and Cliff Richard are clearly kindred spirits. One was born Gary Webb, the other Harry Webb. Both have strangely youthful appearances, though one owes it to tennis while the other looks as if he owes it to the blood of virgins. Both are deeply unfashionable yet have fiercely loyal fan bases. And a quick fact check reveals that Numan's "Cars" replaced Cliff's "We Don't Talk Any More" at Number One 32 years ago last month.

And that's where the similarities end. Dead Son Rising is a Frankenstein's monster of an album, made up of old demos with new bits grafted on. The biggest influences are industrial music as commercialised by Nine Inch Nails and, inevitably, the plane-loving popster's old hero, David Bowie. On "We Are the Lost" the infectious beat slams like a jackhammer. The Trent Reznorish sense of monochrome unease would not feel out of place on the soundtrack of a Saw movie. The lyrics speak of rebirth, as hinted in the title, and also of loss, betrayal and Numan's old faithful, alienation: "Sometimes friends are not the friends they seem", he croons in his trademark drone on "Not the Love We Dream Of".

It's the aforementioned Bowie that casts the darkest shadow over this clinical, crisp album. Numan has never shaken off the Thin White Duke comparisons and he is not going to start after three decades. The disquieting opening track "Resurrection" feels as if it is channelling Scary Monsters and Super Creeps while Low's eerie, otherworldly mood hangs over numerous atmospheric sequences.

The electropop pioneer has not been at the cutting edge of music since he toppled Cliff from the top spot in 1979. Dead Son Rising may not trouble the upper echelons of the charts, but it is Numan doing what he does best. Drawing on like minds, adding his own brand of self-conscious urban angst and delivering something gloriously haunting. "Summer Holiday" it ain't. 

Watch Gary Numan perform "Cars"

The lyrics speak of rebirth, loss, betrayal and Numan's old faithful, alienation


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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There are so many bands who have covered "Cars" or performed the song with them. That, to me, is a credit how good this song was

Hardly apt to be making comparisons to Bowie after all this time,how many Bowie tracks are being covered by bands these days???????? Certainly NIN is the main influence,but stop trying to drag up sad old comparisons from 30 years ago;-Gary doesn't even listen to his own albums from that time,never mind anyone else's!!!!! Get a life!!!

David Bowie comparison really ? The intro track sounds nothing like what would be on Scary Monsters. Stick to the Cliff Richard comparison, that has more going for it....

Dead sun rising feels like a real return to the Numan of old, as he allows the more experimental side of his creativity surface more than on recent projects.I think his interpretation of sound is unique, and that distinctive vocal is his legacy. A true star, in an era of manufactured artists.

That is the strangest review I have ever read. Cliff Richard? I think the reviewer is stoned. Like comparing Metallica to Justin Beiber. Weird.

Joke of a review - childish and lazy... yes the NIN influence is obvious and deliberate imo, but as already commented, the Bowie comparison is preposterous.

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