I bet more than a few Numan fans back in 1986 felt a bad trick was played on them when they plopped Strange Charm on their turntables for the first time. "My Breathing" is amazing! On my top 10 all-time Numan list. It quietly builds up and then kicks in with this powerful orchestra sound (well keyboard-generated orchestra sound) and quiet, actually very nice, female vox. Unbelievable song! Words cannot do justice. After The Fury, which disappointed many fans, this song must have sounded like a breath of fresh air (no pun intended). Numan is back on track! Then the saxophone blares and the female singers wail on the second track "Unknown and Hostile" and reality sets in. More Janet Jacksonesque music from the New Wave/synthesizer god.
"I Can't Stop" and "The Need" continues the annoying material found on The Fury ("Creatures," "This Disease"). The latter is my vote for all-time worst Numan track. Like on The Fury, though, there are some decent tracks on here, besides the excellent opener, that keeps Strange Charm from being a bust. The title track rocks! It reminds me of "The Pleasure Skin" off The Fury. "The Sleeproom" and "This is Love" are two beautiful ballads. I know a lot of fans hate Numan's very commercial work with Bill Sharpe, but I think "New Thing from London Town" is rather catchy. Cleopatra's issue even gives you a 7:57 version of the infamous single with different lyrics. Of the extra tracks, the haunting ballad "Time to Die" is the best. It reminds me a little of "I Still Remember" off The Fury. According to the liner notes, it was inspired by the movie "Blade Runner" (a clip from which begins "Call Out the Dogs"). "Faces" and "Survival" are two odd instrumentals. Strange Charm is one of my least played Numan CDs but "My Breathing" alone makes it worth the price. This issue has black & white photos of Numan from the period (one color photo with Sharpe) and lyrics.