I Am Gary Numan (limited edition)

Review by Joshua Blanc

Jim Collins, aka I Am Gary Numan, has followed up his Gary Numan tribute CD "The Church Of Gary Numan," with a 12 track hard-rock meets industrial album. In the tradition of Gary Numan's recent works, the songs are built on a foundation of percussion and synth loops. Jim adds his exceptional guitar-work into the mix, some fantastic piano, synth, and distinctive vocals in a range of styles.

As well as the original compositions, there are also covers of Numan's "Walking With Shadows," and "My Jesus," which fit in nicely with the other material. A varied and valiant effort; I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Track by track comments:

1: We Kill The Ones We Love
A strong intro and chorus. I find the verses a little strained. Some great guitar work and a solo at the end, which are the high-points of the song for me. I love the title too.

2: Control
This is my favourite of I Am Gary Numan's original compositions. Great instrumentation throughout, and the lyrics and vocals are superb. The stripped-down outro is pure heaven.

3: I Am Gary Numan
We get Numanesque piano which is simply brilliant on this laid-back track, and the lyrics are woven with titles of Numan songs. At first I found the chorus a bit silly, but I dare you not to end up singing it for hours after you've heard it! There's a nice piano solo during the bridge, and the strings and cymbal hits add nice atmosphere. Definitely a high point for Numan fans on this album.

4: Radiation
Jim gets back into heavy mode with this song, a loop-fest built around a heavy guitar track. The raw, slightly distorted vocal style works very well. And another treat, a lingering synth pad closes the song.

5: Resurrected
Great Pure-style guitar work here. I find some of the loops a little distracting, on an otherwise strong track.

6: Walking With Shadows
Let me start off by saying Walking With Shadows is my favourite Gary Numan song, and it's such a tour-de-force that no cover version will ever do it justice. That said, I like I Am Gary Numan's stripped-down treatment of the song, with some slight variations in the vocal delivery. We get some more nice piano parts on the outro.

7: Pray For Their Souls
I Am Gary Numan delivers a ballad which is an interesting mix of light and heavy. Delayed piano, emotive string chords, and some heavy guitar for good measure. The solos are superb, as are the double-tracked vocals on the refrain.

8: Cold Storage
Starting out with some high-energy synth sequences, this track delivers the goods. Great lyrics and vocals and a good balance of synth and wicked guitar against a driving beat.

9: This Virus
From Cold Storage we segue seamlessly into This Virus, a track driven by a funky bass-line and industrial synths. The vocal style works well here.

10: My Jesus
This cover works well. It's sufficiently heavy, subtle in places, and the synth on the instrumental sections is a blast.

11: Lucidity From Madness
A short, synth-heavy track with a riff which harkens back to the early Numan style. A real gem!

12: Broken
Driven by a great heavy guitar riff and warbling synth loop, with lots of industrial percussion flying around. Nice reverbed vocals on the bridge. A strong track to end the album.

To purchase this CD, or read more about it, please visit: www.iamgarynuman.com