Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
GARY NUMAN The Pleasure Principle (Beggars Banquet)
Gary Numan, an old-school guyliner fan, makes music the interwebs call "synth pop." Listening to The Pleasure Principle in the context of this column, I got the feeling that perhaps he was among the first to do this thing that he does. That doesn't change the fact that the thing itself, decades later, doesn't sound particularly refreshing to me at first.
But I gave it a full-faith effort and was rewarded for my time. It was a cloudy day. I was boiling beets. The beets had dyed my fingers a funny sort of ombré magenta; Gary Numan's made-up eyes stared back from my computer screen, his half-smile making me like him, his music leaking around the edges of things.
On the first listen, I was distracted by life until track four, "Films." Suddenly, a jet-engine sound thrums and string-like synths swoop in. It sounds like a sexy horror-movie scene in a dark dance club in slow motion. Next comes "M.E.," which not only is captivating, but I think has been sampled for some sort of hit that activates my brain's slumbering music banks. (I googled it: Basement Jaxx's "Where's Your Head At," anyone?)