Gary Numan – Intruder: Album Review

Gary Numan returns with Intruder; his 18th opus full of industrial beats, crushing guitars, and jagged glitches.

Release date: 21st May 2021

Label: BMG

Format: Vinyl (Various Variants) / CD / Cassette / Digital

Gary Numan is a legend.

The word gets banded around an awful lot, but Numan is one man truly deserving of the moniker. His work in the 1970s with the Tubeway Army is pivotal to music in general and his various reinventions have seen him have a career resurgence over the past twenty years. His fans are devout, he has an ‘influenced’ list longer than many others, and above all else, his music is brilliant.

Intruder is no exception.

As a whole, Intruder is full of vengeance and anger; however, it feels more melancholy than recent albums. It’s more reflective in parts and doesn’t go for the jugular in the way that Splinter did. There are still hugely heavy moments throughout but the restraint in going for the massive riff or crushing beat each time shows an ever-increasing confidence in Numan’s industrial playbook. He does tension so well.

Betrayed opens the album with a sound akin to the call to prayer, showing Gary Numan’s affection for the Eastern sound in his music. Warm bass rolls around as the synths and broken beats build up the sound. There isn’t a long wait until the vocals chime in and soar in Gary Numan’s inimitable fashion.

A darker, pensive beat emerges from the start of The Gift. The vocal hook of ‘take your breath away’ is deeply catchy and will infect your brain. The looped beat that adorns the start of The Gift is somewhat recycled on I Am Screaming with the latter having a lighter tone in its synth sound.

Intruder, the title track, is a real highlight of the record and you can see why this song was thematically chosen to represent the album from the off. It contains all the ingredients that have ensured Gary Numan’s legacy and legend continues to thrive. Dark, sinister synths, glitchy undertones, gnarly beats and vocals that have enamoured fans for over 40 years.

The Chosen has a real Prodigy vibe to it. The synth sound is more twisted and bombastic beats and sinister guitars make for a dastardly dark mix. Sonically, And It Breaks Me Again feels like a sequel to the truly heartbreaking Prayer For The Unborn from 2000’s Pure. In contrast, The End Of Dragons could run up the same comparisons vocally. The Alt Piano version of this song (included as a bonus track) is stunning.

Pumping riffs abound on Saints & Liars as the album moves into its final stretch. The Eastern influenced backing vocals are dreamy; this is bound to become a live favourite for all the Numanoids out there. I feel that it will merge into Numan’s live set seamlessly with a huge chorus and its typically infectious sound.

Gary Numan is the gift that keeps giving. In Ade Fenton he has a perfect partner in the studio. Sonically, Intruder is brimming with confidence and thematically, Numan delivers darkness on a silver platter; it’s truly fine. As an artist, Gary Numan doesn’t stand still and long may this continue; Intruder is a towering success.

Watch Intruder, the title track from Gary Numan’s latest album, below. Read from our archive of Gary Numan articles here.

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3 replies »

  1. So proud to have been a fan since the beginning and now to be here several years later still celebrating Numan’s genius

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