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Savage
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  • The 21st studio long-player from the British electronic music legend, Savage (Songs from a Broken World) is the follow-up to 2013's acclaimed Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), which saw Numan delivering his highest-charting album since 1983's Warriors. A willfully dark, narrative-driven concept album concerning the melding of Eastern and Western cultures in a post-apocalyptic world that's been decimated by the effects of climate change, Savage is awash in ambient horrorscapes, blast-furnace percussion, and electro-goth synth leads that suggest Depeche Mode by way of Nine Inch Nails. Numan made the shift from new wave robot bard to industrial soothsayer in the 2000s or so ago -- his adenoidal voice is as captivating as ever -- so longtime fans aren't expecting the next Tubeway Army or Pleasure Principle. That said, lurking beneath, between, and sometimes on top of each icy gale of factory-forged sonic dissonance are clarion melodies, and familiar ones at that. Numan's talent for crafting singular hooks -- they almost always resolve where you would least expect -- remains one of his most distinguishing features, and songs like "Ghost Nation," "And It All Began with You," "When the World Comes Apart," "Pray for the Pain You Serve," and "Bed of Thorns," the latter of which appeared on the Ghost in the Shell soundtrack, impress with both their sonic elasticity and deference to pop composition. That Numan can still juggle melodrama and musicality with such effortlessness is impressive, to say the least, but that he can make it so compelling is what sets him apart from his old guard new wave contemporaries. ~ James Christopher Monger
Professional Reviews
Magnet - "[A] dark, post-apocalyptic imagining of ragtag remnants of humanity intended as a 10-track cautionary tale of the effects of today's short-sighted, profit-motivated climate-change denial."
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