Gary Numan
Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind)


4.0
excellent

Review

by Acanthus USER (46 Reviews)
October 14th, 2013 | 37 replies | 4,874 views


Release Date: 10/15/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Delightfully fulfilling without stomping over well tread ground, Gary Numan is once again in top form.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Creating a followup to Dead Son Rising seems a daunting task. The early 2011 album was filled with a lack of urgency, opting for a slithering pace that relied on atmosphere and the vocal prowess of Numan to bring the audience back into its little world. This emphasis was well received and felt incredibly right in the current musical landscape, but also left the question as to where the man's sound was to go afterward. The answer is found within Splinter, an amalgamation of the best of the works that came before and the new ideas that touched its creators mind. Featuring more of a staccato bite instrumentally, Splinter finds Numan on a vocally impressive pedestal, with his soft croons and distinct delivery in full form.

A simple yet masterful use of delays and a few other choice effects enhance this presence ("Here In The Black", "The Calling") yet never become the focus or seem over used. Though many layers are often present in each track the entire album seems to be a neigh perfect mix of instruments, be they vocal or otherwise. It's refreshing to listen to something so simply put together, and while Numan breaks out new sounds and devices (such as the distinct bass found in singles "I Am Dust" and "Love Hurt Bleed") they don't overstay their welcome or outshine the other aspects of the album. This allows the room for the smaller moments to shine and become memorable, elation educing moments. From the ghostly backing vocal on "Everything Comes Down To This", to the sudden and unexpected string buildup in "The Calling" every track has something that each listener will latch onto in a different way.

This extended focus on ambiance and atmosphere makes Splinter seem a tad of a blur on first listen, for while the singles are placed in just the right spot nothing else initially grabs you by the ears. This is an album that years and demands a listen right after the first, the kind where you find yourself moving and humming along to melodies that just moments ago really didn't seem special or unique. Too immediately great to be considered a true "grower" the album nonetheless sits a bit behind it's predecessor, requiring more time to enjoy. However this is also where it shows Numans growth as a strong song writer, as well as his aptness to write catchy singles. The choice of "I Am Dust" as an opener is perfect, showcasing bits and pieces of what has yet to come without giving everything away. The slow intimating bassline allows for an excellent progression (one mirrored both within the track and album), making the guitar stabs and Numan's distinctive wails prominent aspects of the tracks evolution. "Love Hurt Bleed" follows a similar path but feels much more upbeat, to the point where it could easily see playtime in a darker venue. Its driving and somewhat ethereal melodies play and weave through distorted filters and guitars, all the while urged forward by Numans simple but compelling lines. The sounds used recall the mans older work, albeit twisted to suit a darker soundscape, and are a refreshing change of pace.

Simply put, Splinter lacks one single standout track. There are numerous highlights, but not one song ever rises above and screams for superiority. While similar to the approach used in Dead Son Rising Numan has honed his craft to produce a polished and fully developed ebb and flow, one that leaves the audience desiring nothing while delivering on everything. Numan feels as if he's on top of his game with the release of his twentieth studio album, poised to ascend to even greater heights. Oft overlooked or forgotten in the wake of his peers Numan shows that he is more than able to hold his own while sticking to a style and form that others left years ago; Splinter is delightfully fulfilling without stomping all over well tread ground.



Recent reviews by this author
Ryan Amon ElysiumShpongle Museum of Consciousness
Anamanaguchi Endless FantasySneaker Pimps Becoming Remixed
Juno Reactor The Golden Sun Of The Great EastIgorrr Hallelujah
user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Out today in the UK, out tomorrow in the USA; an awesome album, well worth your time and money.

Order - http://www.numan.co.uk/preorder/

Stream - http://noisey.vice.com/en_uk/read/youneedtohearthis-album-premiere-gary-numan-splinter-songs-from-a-broken-mind

Digging: Die Sektor - Applied Structure In A Void

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2013



3324 Comments


Dead Son Rising was good, I'm curious to hear this. There wasn't much publicity around the release of Splinter or maybe I missed it. Great review, btw, pos.

Digging: Karma To Burn - Arch Stanton

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks insomniac, the press has been pretty quiet (I only was tipped off due to a friend at work showing me the singles).

I've heard that he's been fighting depression and the like for a while so maybe that's why this was a toned down release in terms of exposure; regardless it's a damn fine record, hope you like it.

bloc
October 14th 2013



34667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah this is good. A few songs I kept from this.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah saw your rating was the same as it was for the previous album.

bloc
October 14th 2013



34667 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And you were right about the new VNV Nation. Really stale.

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha I only gave the preview snippet a listen, didn't really hear anything special.

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the feature, hope more people check this out!

LambsBread
October 14th 2013



3243 Comments


wow. Did not know he still made music at all. That Films track is one of my favorite songs. POS dope dope review

Imperial
October 14th 2013



1719 Comments


Short people got no reason

MO
October 14th 2013



18217 Comments


nice review acanth

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

BigPleb
October 14th 2013



33897 Comments


Cars m/

Digging: Opeth - Pale Communion

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@MO - Thanks, ended up rewriting almost the entire thing after I thought I had it finished so I'm glad it reads well.

@Pleb - Yeah, sadly the rest of that album was pretty forgettable (at least going back to it now).

Eloriaz
October 14th 2013



651 Comments


Gary Numan??? Damn yes. Right up my alley =)
I did not know he was releasing material this year!
Nice work Acanth.

Acanthus
October 14th 2013



9535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Check the album before this one as well if you haven't!

InbredJed
October 14th 2013



5601 Comments


Damn this guy rules, will check!

Spec
October 14th 2013



27051 Comments


Such a bad Offspring album ugh.

InbredJed
October 14th 2013



5601 Comments


Badass TMNT character tho

WhiteNoise
October 15th 2013



3037 Comments


Oh man this looks cool. Will check it out tomorrow...

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

Polyethylene
October 15th 2013



3049 Comments


Dead Son Rising was pretty sick, will be checking this fo sho



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy