Picks and Pans Review: I, Assassin

updated 12/13/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/13/1982 AT 01:00 AM EST

Gary Numan

It's a little like a musical version of a Kafka novel-only this album is by a pretentious British rocker who doesn't have the chops to spin a truly menacing, paranoid fantasy. Numan, 24, mostly cribs from the robotish musical affectations of David Bowie during his "Thin White Duke" phase in the mid-'70s. Numan's whiny voice sounds as if it's been fed through a tinny jack-in-the-box speaker, and while his chilly synthesizer arrangements might warm C-3PO's heart, they aren't likely to do much for humanoids. Numan's lyrics are worse. The title cut opens with "We are assassins/ We are not evil/ We act with reason and heart/ Your heart" and ends with "... just read the papers/ That's realism." Gee. Numan might better spin out his sophomoric imaginings of schizophrenia in private.

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