"Are 'Friends' Electric?" finally got Gary Numan going as far as singles action and pop stardom went, despite the fact that the spoken sections of the song were almost incomprehensible due to a mix of Numan mumbling and rushing through the words. Making it more difficult were obscure terms -- it was only years after the fact that "SU" (as in "all the girls and SU's") was revealed to be the initials of an ex-girlfriend of Gazza's. Still, the song has a steady beat, tends to swell dramatically (with great big guitar chords accompanying), and appeals to the aching adolescent and post-adolescent trying to make sense of a world of oppression. The song also has a few paranoid touches, of course -- there's the wonderful image of "a man in the hall, long coat, grey hat, smoking a cigarette" -- but the song is really about growing up lonely and having no clue about how to change that condition. Unfortunately for Numan's narrator here, all that results from the effort to understand and cope is the realization that those around him have no humanity. Ouch. A song that should have been included on the soundtrack to Steven Spielberg's A.I..