Former Be-Bop Deluxe leader Bill Nelson was brought in to produce this album and provide some soaring lead guitar work, but the collaboration with Numan was beset by difficulties involving Numan's ego and approach to recording. While Nelson's production is evident on many tracks and his guitar is heard in several places, much of this is business as usual (a B-side, "Poetry and Power," features more Nelson and has gone on to a great deal of popularity, especially with the Gravity Kills cover on Random). The science fiction influences here are Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Harlan Ellison's "'Repent, Harlequin!' Cried the Tick-Tock Man." While there is some evidence of confusion as to his direction, the music and songwriting has more energy than anything on the predecessor, I, Assassin, with some genuinely engaging moments along the way.
by Steven McDonald