Gary Numan is known for robotic, stylized singing. His primitive electronics and pre-"new romantic" sound did nothing for me. A myriad, zealous voices will tell you that Numan was sings "good songs." Now, in this 2-CD collection of Numan interpretations you can hear those good songs without Numan's idiosyncratic delivery. The known and the unknown join to make proto-dance music out of mechanical master's material. Matt Sharp (Weezer) and Damon Albarn (Blur) cover "We Have a Technical." Also on the compilation are Gravity Kills, EMF, The Magnetic Fields, Jesus Jones, the out-of-place hip hop group Underdog (but, there's only one of them), Sukia, The Orb, Pop Will Eat Itself. One of my favorite cuts is "Metal" by Towering Inferno. Brian Eno described their Kaddish album as "frightening" and they are here joined by Eddie Reader. I also am very fond of the two versions of "Are 'Friends' Electric?" Techno rockers Republicaare joined by Numan himself for one version and Belgian discovery An Pierle offers another.
This double-CD has 24 different groups of fusion musicians (including some from Europe) paying tribute to Weather Report. Despite the personnel and often the instrumentation changing from track to track, there is a unity to the project and many of the bands sound quite a bit like Weather Report, either purposely as part of the tribute or naturally. The programming is somewhat random and the bands bring back the sound, grooves, and spirits of Weather Report rather than necessarily always sticking to their compositions. All in all, this is a heartfelt and very well-played tribute that can also serve as an introduction to a cross-section of some of today's top fusion musicians, many of whom are not household names yet.
The only recording Ella Fitzgerald made as a duo with a pianist is re-created with this new and exciting duo. Very intimate, moving, grooving, a feast of the senses, this tribute CD to Ella Fitzgerald will make you remember the Great American Songbook!