Electronic | Industrial | Rock
In my mind, I definitely don’t feel that enough people know of Gary Numan’s discography, beyond his biggest hit single. 1979’s “Cars”. Even I have been guilty of struggling to remember who the new wave artist was, until “Cars” was played.
And despite that hit single being released so long ago, his newer material prove to me that the singer has aged like fine wine. Numan absolutely championed a ruinous and arabesque atmosphere on his 2018 album Savage (Songs from a Broken World), which was also where I was first properly exposed to the darker and heavier side to Gary Numan’s music.
Looking back on my discovery of that album, I think that it was entirely due to the fact that I discovered it a little late after its release date, but I never seized that opportunity to review it. I aim to not repeat that same mistake with Gary Numan’s brand new full-length effort.
Intruder is the 21st studio album release from Gary Numan, and if that is not proof enough of how extensive the master of survival’s discography is, and how seasoned of an artist he is as a result, then I don’t know what else I could do to persuade you. First teased by Numan’s 2021 title track, it didn’t take long at all for me to perceive Intruder as an even darker, and even more atmospheric successor to Savage.
What I really liked about Intruder’s first two teaser tracks (the latter being “I Am Screaming”), was how much their appeal just kept creeping up on me. And what I mean by that is, in contrast to those kinds of tracks that slap you in the face completely on first listen, only to go slightly stale a few months in, these singles from Numan seem to take the opposite approach. Make no mistake, I thought both of these singles were incredibly decent on first listen, but the way that they grew on me was extraordinary.
Somehow, the final two teaser tracks for this album, “Saints and Liars” and “Now and Forever”, slipped under my radar, but at least I would be able to listen to both as part of the full album.
This album truly did deliver on everything I had hoped, in regards to this album’s sheer level of dark atmosphere. It does incredibly well to elevate both the aesthetic of the album , and the narrative, which both point towards the near-apocalyptic state of the world. It seemed as if there was some form of inspiration or another linked to the pandemic, but Gary Numan tackles the subject in a deep way; a very deep way.
The notion of Gary Numan playing the role of the voice inside the listeners head made the whole of Intruder a phenomenally enjoyable and engaging experience, which really adds an invaluable layer to this masterful project.
I’m still conflicted as to whether I want to label this albums slightly out-of-sync mixing as a positive or negative criticism. And while this does give Intruder a bit of a rough around the edges feel, it simultaneously adds a slightly authentic and raw charm that remains true to all of the Gary numan-isms we’ve come to know.
Aside from that, my only other critique towards this album would be some of the slower and more mellow tracks, which come off as a little patience-testing and detracting from the whole daunting feeling that the rest of Intruder had been pushing for, although unimpressive slow tracks are a trope that a lot of albums (even the better ones) suffer from.
Other than those few very minor nitpicks, Intruder was ultimately everything I had hoped it would be. I truly have to admire just how strong of an experience this album was, and the atmospheric expertise well and truly shows.
Favourite Tracks: The Gift | Intruder | Saints and Liars
Least Favourite Track: A Black Sun
Enjoyment: 9/10 | Memorability: 8/10 | Atmosphere: 10/10
Uniqueness: 8/10 | Satisfaction: 9/10 | Narrative: 9/10