Friday Music Pick - Gary Numan

Synth legend Gary Numan returns with a Savage dystopian landscape.

Numan and his daughter.  Copyright Acknowledged

Numan and his daughter.  Copyright Acknowledged

“We live in a windswept hell,” Numan sings on the awesome Ghost Nation.

Synth legend Gary Numan returns with a  dystopian landscape on his 21st studio album ( yes 21 ! )  Savage (Songs From a Broken World) and it's bleak and dark and brilliant !

The 59-year-old synth innovator has created a post-apocalyptic world that has become barren as a result of global warming. “Savage imagines the planet as a desolate, desert wasteland,” he explains in the album’s press materials. “It’s about surviving and coexisting in a world decimated by global warming and my reaction to Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord.”

Guitars and keyboards crash, percussion throbs and synths have rich sonic layers that  translate well to a futuristic landscape in that recognisable Numan sound. Numan’s dystopian worldview hasn’t been exactly cheered by climate change.

“We live in a windswept hell, not even God remembers”, he sings, bleakly.

Savage is an unforgiving, full-on assault that kicks off with the ominous “Ghost Nation”, featuring programmed synths and sci-fi beats in a deserted landscape as a matter of survival. 

The album is not all dark and their are some glimmers of light amongst the dark landscape and melody lines and smoothness shine through.  All the tracks are tuneful with the huge banks of synths  and Bed of ThornsThe End of Things and the awesome My Name is Ruin stand out. My Name is Ruin possibly his best song in years.

The industrial sound works perfectly with the message and the dystopian broken world he describes doesn’t feel too far away in reality at the moment.

This is the best album in years from Numan, a true electronic music innovator and synth legend.

Get it on vinyl from Amazon.

Written by David Breathnach

David Breathnach is the founder and creative director of Industry Design. The studio is an award winning integrated agency working mainly in the creative sectors in web, digital, print and film. Industry work with a global client base of all sizes on mainstream and shadow projects.