Savage (Songs for a Broken World) BMG ★★★★★
Gary Numan’s career has been gradually revitalised since Sugababes’ 2002 smash Freak Like Me sampled him and Marilyn Manson hailed him as a pioneer of electronic industrial gloom. There’s plenty of the latter on his 21st studio album. Guitars and keyboards crash like falling slabs of granite, percussion pulses throb and synths purr ominously. Numan’s dystopian worldview hasn’t been exactly cheered by climate change or the Trumpocalypse. However, tunefulness permeates the intensity like rays of sunshine. Huge, Cars-type banks of synthesisers fire Bed of
Thorns and The End of Things and the east Asian-tinged My Name Is Ruin is one of his catchiest songs in years. For all the retooling, the vintage Numanoid still has a pop star’s beating heart.