Gary Numan ‎– Scarred

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Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
EDGCD242, GAS 0000242 EDG Gary Numan Scarred(2xCD, Album) Eagle Records, Eagle Records EDGCD242, GAS 0000242 EDG UK 2003 Sell This Version
ST2EA082 Gary Numan Scarred(2xCD, Album) ST2 Records ST2EA082 Brazil 2003 Sell This Version
ER 20001-2 Gary Numan Scarred(CD + CD, Enh) Eagle Records ER 20001-2 US 2003 Sell This Version
LETV030LP Gary Numan Scarred(2xLP, Album, Ltd, Gat) Let Them Eat Vinyl LETV030LP UK 2011 Sell This Version
none Gary Numan Scarred(2xCDr, Promo) Eagle Records none UK Unknown Sell This Version

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Bowers

Bowers

July 27, 2011
referencing Scarred, 2xCD, Album, EDGCD242, GAS 0000242 EDG
"Scarred" brings the complete London Brixton Academy show from October 2000, 'Pure' Tour.
The set starts off with a sizzling "Pure". While it is followed by the familiar "Me I Disconnect From You", the majority of the songs after that focus on the Pure album, with gems like "Rip", "I Can't Breathe", "Prayer for the Unborn" and "Listen To My Voice", but also a great "Angel Wars" (from the Exile album). "Down in the Park" is recast and sounds greater than ever, as is "Replicas" (check out that stomping intro!). The obligatory "Cars" is here of course, but it truly is not one of the better songs on here. Numan has moved on from "Cars" and he is (and we are) the better for it. The 'new' Gary Numan brings us an overall sound that's somewhere in between of NIN's industrial rock and Depeche Mode era-"Songs of Faith and Devotion" (another synth band that discovered guitars, but Numan brings yet more guitars), and it just works great. It's telling that the CD cover shows Numan with a guitar, as if to convery that this is not the same ol', same ol'.
guybahir

guybahir

March 13, 2008
referencing Scarred, 2xCD, Album, EDGCD242, GAS 0000242 EDG
It's kind of difficult to think of Gary Numan as a serious musician, let alone a relevant one; it's not that I know of anyone who actually dislikes him or his work (that's hard to do), it's just that usually the name evokes an affectionate smile and nod, a nostalgic fondness.

Which was precisely my reaction when I saw this album; Numan, for most people (I think), stands for anachronism; his sound is so distinctive and so connected to a specific era, his "low on batteries" vocals so immediately recognizable and inseparable from his music, that the mere idea of a live album from 2003 sounds like some greedy, evil promoter's idea of a cruel prank, secretly rubbing his hands and grinning malevolently behind the curtains, with poor, unsuspecting, "of course you're hot!" Gary on the receiving side of much giggling and abuse.

The album consists of about 60% of his (then) new and critically acclaimed album 'Pure', interwoven with a whole lot of Numan and Tubeway classics. Now critical acclaim, in cases such as these, tends to not mean much other than acknowledgement of the fact that the artist managed to somehow not embarrass themselves terribly, and mainly I was expecting some decent rendering of his 80's classics, nothing more.

But here's the thing: no. Numan is living proof that if you stick to something long enough it will become relevant again. The new tracks effortlessly incorporate developments in electronic music into his sound, and they feel of this day and age rather than some old fart trying to belt something out for them young'uns; and the old tracks, well - here's where the magic lies. All of them have been reworked, yes, but mostly the changes are cosmetic and very, very subtle. There's additional percussion, evolved beat, a slight change of bassline, things like that; rather than synth-rock, the music has evolved into soft-industrial, with Gothic tinges; but it is all very organic and never does the essence of the tune change or the end result feel forced in any way - which is truly remarkable, considering the source material.

This is a very coherent statement, and it feels that, for the most part, Numan's work has not so much aged well, but rather that it hasn't aged at all; the slight, and (again) organic changes serve to emphasize the sharp intelligence and adaptability of his original musical platform. Rarely have I seen / heard such conceptual fanaticism hold any water a quarter of a century later, let alone with absolute, matter-of-factness dignity.

The only weaker part is the encore, which consists of 'Observer', 'Dance', and 'Tracks' - and sounds a lot more anachronistic and less convincing (or convinced) than the rest of the album; but at this point, it's minor quibbling - and really, who isn't allowed some slack in the encore?

So yes. Numan, it turns out, IS a serious musician - if for nothing else than for his ability to incorporate change and evolution into his work in a seamless and intelligent manner. Moreso, it could be argued that these seemingly effortless adaptations are a direct result of him being 30 years before his time in the first place, which would make him a bona-fide musical genius. But that's for better-paid people to say.

In a sentence: loved it, and found it unexpectedly intelligent, fresh, and relevant.