On to the review....
Jagged is by far the best I've heard from Gary. It's like he went into his back catalogue and made a bridge from 1986 straight to 2006. It's incredible - there's hints of Replicas, Warriors, and The Fury all over the place. I'm not sure but I think my favorite song on here so far is 'Before You Hate It', I don't have a song on the album that I don't like. There is usually one that I think "well, that one isn't as good as the rest" and skip over it - not one of those songs exist on Jagged. They are all top notch songs and Gary has put so much of his power and feeling into every track! It's one of those albums that you 'feel' rather than hear. Although I feel the album could have been called The Warrior's Bridge or Jagged Fury or Haunted Replica. LOL
The singlemost thing that I have to say about this album is that it's finally produced to bring out Gary's voice in every track. He is no longer 'hiding' behind a pulsing baseline or wailing guitar or a female. He's been stripped back to what he was in the beginning - plain and simple Gary Numan. Technology has finally caught up with his imagination and he can now create the soundscape he wanted back in the early 80's.
Track 1 - Pressure - It sets the mood for the rest of the album - basically it lets us know that he feels no pressure anymore and he's finally free to make the music that he's wanted to for the last 25 years and you can feel it. A message to the 'so called' fans that would threaten his family and his life for not recording exactly what they want to hear. I'm glad that he's given them the proverbial finger and has said 'Bugger Off'. Turkish melodies lead me to believe that his newborn baby girl, Persia might have inspired the music.
Track 2 - Fold - Very deep track, tons of layers of wonderful sound. You have to listen to this one at full blast to 'feel' the effects of this one. The demo didn't do this one justice. I've caught myself humming this while filing at work - awesome.
Track 3 - Halo - This song is headed directly to the dancefloor of any club worth a darn. You can't help but wiggle in your seat and really wonder 'Does God Bleed?' The live drums have really added back an element that was truly missing from Gary's music. Sure programmed drum sequences are cool but the 'real thing' is always BEST! I can close my eyes and see Gary back in his white suit belting out this song circa 1985 and it fits. Numan at his best.
Track 4 - Slave - Feels like it was pulled straight out of Warriors. Play Warriors and then take a listen to Slave. It fits perfectly.
Track 5 - In A Dark Place - WOW - a return to Replicas/Warriors/The Fury sounds. Reminds me of the themes of loss and desolation from The Fury. That album still breaks my heart to this day. Makes me wish he'd redo Creatures without the female vocals.
Track 6 - Haunted - Borne of Pure, traces of Sacrifice, lamentings from Warriors, soaring synths from Fury - this track rocks from the first note.
Track 7 - Blind - Should be a single. Has #1 potential in the US and UK maybe a few other countries. It is definitely catchy and replay worthy - I've listened to the whole album non-stop since Sunday afternoon.
Track 8 - Before You Hate It - Quite possibly my favourite track on this album. It very reminiscent of Replicas/The Fury era. Brings me back to my favourite Numan period too, when I was a young girl of 12 or 13 lamenting and falling in love with Numan.
Track 9 - Melt - Except for the modern sounding sampling - this song could have easily been on Replicas. I'm so happy Gary has found himself again.
Track 10 - Scanner - Sounds like a holdover from Sacrifice that Gary just didn't have the ability to tweak exactly the way he wanted it UNTIL NOW! 'Sometimes Love Breaks My Heart' - Classic, no other word to describe it.
Track 11 - Jagged - I was apprehensive of another 'whispered' song but holy cow the anthemic chorus blew me away! This song is absolutely layer upon layer of Numan awesomeness. It truly makes you want 'his disease'!
US Release - Track 12 - Fold (Alternative Version) - Take a GREAT song - then make it STUPENDOUSLY SUPER! That's what happened when Fold got worked up. If all the other alternative tracks that will be released have this sort of treatment, we'll have more awesome Numan tracks than our CD players will be able to handle!
Say this with me - ADE FENTON IS A PHREAKING PRODUCTION GENIUS! Gary couldn't have hooked up with a better partner to make his music with. I look forward to the future of what their collaborations can produce!
I can only add that you need to get this one ASAP. He'll be touring the US this fall - be ready to be Numanized!
X-posted EVERYWHERE! LOL