Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Gary Numan & Tubeway Army

  • Replicas [Atco, 1979] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Replicas [Atco, 1979]
Resistant as I am to the new strain of synthesizer punk now reaching us from England, I didn't connect to this for months--not until I listened to the singing. Numan's lyrics abound with aliens and policemen and pickups in what sounds at first like the worst sort of received decadence, but his monotone is too sweet and vulnerable for that impression to stick. To you it may be sordid sex and middlebrow sci-fi; to him it's romance and horror. The debut (Tubeway Army, Beggar's Banquet import) is faster, more pointed, and includes no instrumentals. This is catchier, more haunted, and includes two. B+