The 55-year-old is in a kind of feedback loop, neither wildly unoriginal nor a natural fit
An inspiration to decades of kohl-eyed youths using synthesizers as a force for misery, Gary Numan’s been in the shadows for some time now, delighting diehard Numanoids and few others. His 20th album finds the 55-year-old in a kind of feedback loop, sounding more like the bands he’s influenced – Depeche Mode’s doomy electronica, say, or the goth-industrial of Nine Inch Nails – than his pioneering singles of the late ’70s. It makes for a decent record that’s neither wildly unoriginal nor a natural fit, as Numan assimilates glitches and white noise into ‘Everything Comes Down To This’ and ‘Here In The Black’ without quite making the sonic textures his own. He flirts with past glories on the throbbing ‘I Am Dust’, but ‘Splinter…’ never sounds ahead of the curve he created.