After becoming a worldwide star with the punchy, synth-driven rock of 1979's The Pleasure Principle, Gary Numan moved in a subtler, more "mature" direction on his next outing, Telekon. Though its predecessor wasn't exactly a party album, Telekon is full of moodiness and melancholy, but just as abundant in melody. While tunes like "I Dream of Wires" continue Numan's fascination with technological themes, the dominant feeling is one of emotional dissolution, and the music follows suit. Synthesizers still lead the way, but the emotionally naked and sonically sparse "Remember I Was Vapour" and "Please Push No More" are based around delicate piano melodies, with Paul Gardiner's lonesome basslines adding poignant counterpart. Even when Numan revs things up a little on the chugging, postpunk-tinged "We Are Glass," he's singing about an almost fatal state of fragility. Telekon, while a huge hit in the U.K., signaled both an aesthetic and commercial shift—Numan's subsequent albums would curry less commercial favor but would become increasingly more musically nuanced.

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