Pretense can become chutzpah when someone—like Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, say—has the stuff to deliver the goods. This precocious British brat showed some promise on last year's Cars. After that, he announced his plan to retire from rock. He should have stuck with the decision. These songs (giving that word the broadest definition) are delivered through noodlings on elaborate sonic hardware. Numan's voice sounds like a hung-over R2-D2, and his lyrics are witless—"We are not afraid to love, but no new ideas/You almost get used to such things you know." In this case, no way.