Release Date: May 21, 2021
Record label: BMG
A late-90s resurgence, signposting his influence amongst industrial circles, has continued to cast a long shadow over the new-wave progenitor's work; nihilistic clouds beneath the façade of his formative years taking on an overt, duskier hue - a staple of his sound in the intervening two decades. Never one to linger on the past, Numan remains attuned to current challenges and fears, the climate change crisis seized with appropriate urgency and prominence on his latest entry Intruder, sharing the pre-emptive vision of Tubeway Army in locking into not-too-distant, trauma-pitted horizons. The latter era confronting the mechanisation of human relationships where Numan now envisages Earth safeguarding its survival via the elimination of its human destructor.
Although he released dodgy albums in 1983, 1985, 1988, 1991 and an absolutely woeful one in 1992 that was barely listenable, Gary Numan‘s long-discussed renaissance has never actually existed: he hasn’t released a less-than-decent album since 1994’s comeback spectacular Sacrifice. Numan, once the leader of Tubeway Army and now the leader of all techno-goths who are too alternative for Depeche Mode, made his name on the back of a handful of iconic songs, and has released more than his fair share of classic albums. Numan also, most importantly, helped play a part in the birth and eventual dominance of synth-pop in the ’80s, and the fact that he’s been forgiven for supporting Margaret Thatcher throughout that decade should tell you everything about the longevity of the man.
Gary Numan's curious late-career high has resulted in some astonishing music. Severing his links to the past, the electronic pioneer has embraced industrial noise with real abandon, resulting in a series of reinvigorated, genuinely challenging records. 'Intruder' follows 'Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)' and 'Savage (Songs From A Broken World)', albums whose critical success was accompanied by scorching live shows - performances that underlined the strength of his catalogue, and Numan's willingness to engage with future-facing aesthetics.