Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, New Age, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Grim, Gritty, and Smooth
Shaw N. Gynan | Bellingham, WA USA | 12/31/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Much of the music seems initially repetitive and artificial, all of which seems to float in a reverberant space. The sound is indeed muddy. Nevertheless, the effect is ultimately hypnotic, spell-binding, and that is why I like the extended version so much.The theme appears to be anti-religious, but there is not a little ambiguity here. "Dominion Day" sets the tone. There is no need to parse the lyrics too deeply. Apocalyptic visual and sonic images from Christianity are emphasized: darkness, death, screams. The promise of salvation is obviously viewed as cynically manipulative, of which children are the victims. "Prophecy" continues the blasphemy of the opener. Narrated in the first person, we are left again with the impression that religion is cruel and oppressive. The first two songs, it might be noted, also have great rhythm, and "Dead Heaven" is even better. The heresy is ramped up yet another level, and even as a rather recalcitrant atheist, I find Numan's attack shocking: "Blessed is death in 'his' name." Christian readers may find this absolutely offensive, but those who have been persecuted by well-meaning practitioners of religion will find this horror music all too right. "Dead Heaven" features falling chord progressions that seem to conduct the listener straight into Hell. But man, it rocks! "Dark" features an odd, grunting bass and sinister low chords on synthesizers. The theme is of fear: "Don't let the dark into me." The effectiveness of the song is achieved by contrasting a soft theme with the marching beat of the anthem. The narrator commands that he be prayed to. Numan could be said to be playing with the idea that he is the anti-Christ. In this grim context, "Innocence Bleeding" actually comes off as a gentle interlude leading into "The Angel Wars," a rock dirge and a statement of disbelief in the major tenets of Christianity: angels, the virgin birth, the cross on the hill. Numan doesn't present much of a solution, however, since the narrator drifts into darkness. "Absolution" is another relatively innocent song, a statement about love that evokes death and sacrifice, a common enough theme, and one Numan explores elsewhere, accompanied here by a languid beat and bell-like chords. "An Alien Cure" is the longest song on the extended disc, and the culminating point of this collection. The tune is the catchiest, the beat driving, and the lyrics sly. Here we learn that all the anti-religious posturing is male bravado in response to failed love. Evil here is simply the temptation to love a woman who does not love him, to give into lust when he knows the result will be rejection and loneliness. "Exile" is also sly. The narrator is not actually declaring his desire for revenge. Instead, "I'll make everyone pay" are words he hears in a dream. Nevertheless, he is naming the desire for revenge, so this entire song is a kind of apophasis if you will. Very tricky, but I think Numan is playing around with some pretty naughty ideas that kids find alluring, and I really don't like the implication very much. Yup, Numan's music scares me now, and it sure hadn't in years past. I just hope there isn't a youngster out there who listens to this creepy, vengeful stuff and gets the wrong idea.That said, this is a deeply affecting and carefully constructed work, a terrifying masterpiece."
Get other versions of the tracks on this album
Joseph Zbiciak | North Richland Hills, TX USA | 01/24/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gary starts to really explore his more 'goth industrial' side with this album, with dark, heavy songs questioning faith and purpose. The songs themselves are good at their core, but for many of these tracks, the versions on this album sound like good rough drafts rather than the polished genius I've come to expect from Gary's better works.Personally, with respect to this period of Gary's career, I prefer the somewhat more cohesive Sacrifice to this album. It's ironic that Sacrifice predates Exile. Several of the songs on Exile really hold up in their later incarnations. Hybrid brings the best out of Absolution and Dominion Day, replacing the wandering, occasionally lost-sounding vocals with a calm, powerful sense of purpose. On Hybrid, Dominion Day gets the much needed punch, dynamic range and lyrical tightness the original lacks. Absolution's remix on Hybrid carries your ears out to sea on a smooth sonic journey that Exile's version only hints at. Both songs wander less and stick to the task at hand in their remixed form.To be fair, the songs Dead Heaven and Angel Wars are rather well executed on this album. Gary rocks the house rather successfully with these tracks in concert (as demonstrated on the Scarred CD), and the concert versions are virtually unchanged from the versions on Exile.From my perspective, hard core fans would appreciate this album in much the same way that art critics enjoy pouring over a famous artist's sketchbook. Don't expect much more than a rough draft feel for many tracks on this album--Gary's still finding his legs with this one. If you're at all apprehensive, skip this one and buy Sacrifice, Hybrid (and/or its special edition, Mutate) and Scarred. You'll thank me."
Actually an Improvement
Alf Kremer | Denver CO | 07/03/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Gary Numan's "extended" albums never really made sense to me until this one. This is the first one where the album's emphasis is on its feel - the dark despair of a non/anti-religious world. The tracks here build upon that feeling to bring the atmosphere even further up front. I can't whole-heartedly recommend it - I must admit to preferring Gary Numan songs as songs rather than soundscapes. However, if the samples intrigue you, by all means, go for it."