REVIEW: Gary Numan - "Pure"

By Rat Bastard

Chain Border

PurePure is the newest album from electronic pop icon Gary Numan. It is the third in a series of comeback albums, (the other two being Sacrifice and Exile), that showcase the newer 'dark' Numan sound, which, from what I gather, was greatly influenced by Numan's visits to NIN and Cure concerts. Thus, if you are not a fan of Sacrifice or Exile, or if you are expecting an album of lighthearted pop ditties, then you will most likely wish to steer clear of this one.

Pure is an album of extremes. Its angriest moments (exemplified in the title track's cry of "Hey Bitch, this is what you are…") are angrier than anything previously written by Numan, and likewise, the more somber and soulful moments (such as the songs Prayer for the Unborn and Little InVitro, which are both about the death of an unborn child) are certainly among his most heartfelt recordings. Meanwhile, there is still more of the lingering religious angst felt in previous albums, and songs such as My Jesus and Listen to My Voice show that Gary Numan definitely still has a bone to pick with God.

Some fans may have a hard time stomaching the whispered vocal stylings on Rip and I Can't Breathe, as they show an obvious manifestation of a slight Trent Reznor/Marilyn Manson influence. Also, the heavy guitar riffs are even more prominent here (particularly on more aggressive tracks) than on Exile, which is further evidence of this influence. However, these influences do not manage to overshadow Numan's own unique flair and atmosphere, but do prove that Numan can incorporate new elements into his music while still sounding like himself. Granted, Pure may not be quite as trailblazing as Numan's late 70's Tubeway Army material, but it is a must-buy for any fan of Numan's recent (mid 90's-present day) work, and worth a listen to any fan of dark electronic music who doesn't mind listening to a rock album that happens to utilize electronics rather than an electronic album that happens to have rock influences.

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