Gary Numan/The Numa Years Boxset Disc 4


Disc 4: Machine And Soul [1992]

Machine And Soul—-Coming off a long hiatus on Numa, the listener is disturbed to find that this begins with more of the same stuck in the rut faux R N’ B. The sound and the delivery is uninspired and predictable. A shame..where is the originality?

Generator—-Sounding like an early inspiration for KMFDM, the song is foreign and almost offensive. I find it empty and uninspired, the sound in tinny and the synth is uninspired. Really..a waste of space on this release. Even Numan delivers a vocal that is so muted in sound and pushed to the back of the mix it is just mundane.

The Skin Game—-A little fuller in sound, the song still lacks the heavier and darker sound that you yearn for. The machine generated sounds are too friendly and the tone of the song just a little contrived. The vocal is slow in arrival and uninspired. The females vocals take over the main lines and the majority of quality Numan vocals are mutated and flat.

Poison—-Falling flat and full of disappointment, I have no more words to describe this abysmal delivery!

I Wonder—-A wonderful return to form, the song is a grand and epic sounding piece that screams for attention. The tone of the song is intense and the subject can only be about love. If you are in love, the song makes yo want to cling to that which makes you happy. If you are alone, the song makes you aches for that one intimate, joyous moment when you know and you feel and you grow. This is wonderful!!!

Emotion—-Bombastic and wonderfully charged at the onset. the song is only diminished by the female vocal lines. This sounds like an updated version of Bowie, and it for the most part falls flat. The two have always been separate and groundbreaking…move on to the next chapter. I really do not care for this at all.

Cry—-The vocal of Numan is sassy and full of fire. This is nice…the stacatto rhythm guitar adds a fuller feel to the music, but the damn back drop singers only distract from a truly great performance. Not bad…but WAY to much of a ‘good’ thing.

U Got The Look—-A revamped version of the Prince classic, the song plays really well live…not so great on record or in the new generation Numan. The song provided the necessary funk and fun, but this was obviously not Gary’s forte. Too bad…a waste of space.

Love’s Isolation—-Beginning with layers of magnificent darkness…you are afraid of what may happen. The listener is pleasantly surprised as the song becomes even more layed and desolate. Numan delivers a vocal so full of emotion and angst that you are led to his dark place. Magnificent and morose. This is wonderful.

Bonus Tracks:


Kandi—-Magnificent in form…..later this very song would return in another form. The ground work to a noisier and darker Numan was being laid and this served as only a promise to the things that would emerge and elevate Numan to GOD status once again. Magnificent!

Dark Mountain—-Full of dark and manipulated vocals, the song finally ushers in a morose and contemplative atmosphere. The sound is layered with many different sounds as the keyboards become an instrument all of it’s own…capable of conveying feelings and mood. The manipulated vocal runs through the backdrop…almost evil in delivery. Wonderful!

The Hauntings—-Again, very dark in sound and reminding me of Assemblage 23. The keyboards are wanting to burst into a heavier synth beat and they are pulling at the beat. The feelings and vivid thoughts music can produce is incredible. The song is kept at a stand still….the emotions continue dark and intense. You must hold in the emotion a while longer.

1999—-Yes, that 1999. Don’t ask me why or to make excuses for such a really bad decision. This is terrible!

Cry Baby—-More funk inspired slop that Numan should have known by this time to leave alone. The sound is un inspired and forced. The tone of the song is worked over and over…this same song has appeared on the last three releases in ne for or the other. This is a disappointment and unneccessary.

Wonder Eye—-Wonderfully full of mood and atmosphere, Numan is in fine form. Even with the occasional female voice, Gary continues to carry center stage with his broody personality. Wonderfully constructed with nice upfront clicks and clacks…this is genius.

*** out of 5



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