Review: Gary Numan - Jagged Edge

Around ten years ago, my Big Brother Matt played some Gary Numan for me. I instantly fell in love. Numan's style is simultaneously dark, transient, powerful and strange. Later learning that Numan shared very odd personal characteristics with myself, such as being generally libertarian, a religious skeptic and having Asperger's syndrome (all documented on his Wikipedia page), made me all the more of a devotee.

Between 2000 and 2006, Gary Numan only put out one album with new material: the stellar remix album Hybrid. In 2006, he put out a new album called Jagged, which was overall very disappointing. All the songs were formulaic: starting with strange industrial sounds, building into hard guitars and a chorus and then fading out. Alot of the songs had potential but needed to be reworked so that they stood out from one another.

With his remix album Jagged Edge, Numan breathes life into the mediocre 2006 album. Strange musical combinations make themselves known on this album, most notably on the song "Edge (AF)," in which samples of Islamic prayers are overtaken by distorted keyboards and science fiction sounds. The song "Slave," which has a beautiful chorus, is reworked twice here.

The remix versions of Numan's albums often turn out to be the best of his work. Like his fellow geek George Lucas, Numan is not content to release a finished product and is constantly tinkering with his art. Jagged Edge comes highly recommended, as does the remix albums Hybrid and Exile: Extended.