An apocalyptic concept album inspired by climate change and written during Donald Trump’s rise to power: what could possibly go wrong? Alas, the intriguing premise of Gary Numan’s 22nd album ultimately proves too ambitious for the synth-pop stalwart.
Although he ably captures the desolate mood on the cold, industrial shudder of Ghost Nation and the mechanical, nihilistic buzz of My Name Is Ruin, these songs ultimately go nowhere as Numan constantly retreads ground, both musically and thematically.
Bed of Thorns breaks up the overbearing grimy synth offensive with snaky, unsettling rock riffs, while the instrumental intro of Broken is evocative and cinematic, before reverting to Numan's emotionless snap-and-slam blueprint. It had potential to be a topical communiqué to the masses, but it's mostly an exercise in musical self-indulgence.