Gary Numan

Disconnection

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The three-CD box set Disconnection compiles a wealth of Gary Numan's recorded output from the 1984 to 1992. Discs one and two are a mini treasure trove of B-sides, rarities, and overlooked gems from a period when Numan fell off the map a bit critically and commercially. Compared to his earlier, somewhat minimalist synth albums, these songs incorporate funk bass, jazzy saxophone, and soulful female backing vocalists to great effect. Numan's voice still leans toward Gothic indifference, but the music suggests a compelling hybrid of Numan's techno inclinations with doses of Talk Talk's romanticism and Eurythmics' swing. Synth washes and pre-industrial percussion still abounds, but most of the songs will please casual listeners as much as Numan fanatics. Disc three adds a mother lode of live tracks that sparkle as much as their studio counterparts. Here, some of the Numan staples like "I Die You Die" and "Cars" sit alongside the material Numan was releasing at the time. Yes, there are some overly bombastic flourishes and an overabundance of backing vocals on some tracks, but this 45-song collection is a fascinating look at Gary Numan's artistic output at a time when much of the world had foolishly moved on.

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