Friday, September 15th, 2017

Gary Numan – And It All Began With You

If the video for this has Helena Christensen in it, then we’ll really know.


Maxwell Cavaseno: Nothing is more hilarious than how after Gary Numan breaks out a bunch of Vangelis synths, he accidentally croaks in a way that makes you think of Chris Isaak. Production-wise, Numan’s really never gotten too far past ’93 in trying to blend his dark synths and occasional guitar feedback in a way that’s palatable and never feels overtly retro-tastic, but also lacks the sloppy crudeness of his early classics. Everything he does now feels like a really immaculately crafted soundtrack for a late-’90s sci-fi computer game title screen, and likewise is the right sort of digestible ponderousness.

Scott Mildenhall: For all the apocalypticism, this is actually a deceptively straight love song. Then again, it is clearly pretty much “Wicked Game”. That’s fine though, because if anyone has earnt a bit of stealing, it’s the ever-burgled Numan. Chris Isaak’s melody brings an unexpected accessibility to a song that is admittedly still a drawn-out brood, and Numan distinguishes it from its forebear with pleasingly Numanoid vocals and an arrangement that has it sounding somewhere near the remix it deserves.

Alfred Soto: I admire the Numanoid for keeping on keeping on — he sounds like David Sylvian with a budget. This synthscape might get him work as a composer for a SCI FI channel documentary or, if he’s lucky, Saturday afternoon cable softcore porn.

Nortey Dowuona: The strings and piano drift along together, shoved up by the glancing bass and limp drums.

Ryo Miyauchi: Gary Numan goes NIN on this lurching ballad where his screams at the sun can either be pointed outward at God or deeply inward at the darkness of himself. But instead of conveying complete numbness, a sensation Trent Reznor wrote with precision, “And It All Began with You” tries to overwhelm with emotion enough to make you collapse at the sheer weight of it. Both have their moments, though doubling down on strings to up the volume is a rather overdone route to emote; getting closer to zero is a harder act to master.

Katherine St Asaph: And it all centers on “I’ll be with you when you stand before God”: a step too far into each of love and judgment and sex and seediness. The rest is by no means peak Numan, but it’s great cinematic-Isaak dramatics of the sort Lana and Abel have tried but are too preoccupied with being cool and timely not to dilute.

Reader average: [9.33] (3 votes)

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One Response to “Gary Numan – And It All Began With You”

  1. Gary Numan is not NIN, way better than that, Savage is easily the album of the year, just some incredible songs on there. Musically the most talented man on the planet.