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Similarly to the way in which 1973’s Foreigner saw Cat explore the influence that R&B had had upon him, Numbers drew upon his love of musicals. Having grown up in London’s West End he was surrounded by the sounds and culture of musical theatre and we feel the effects of these formative experiences on the record. It is essentially a concept album with underlying spiritual themes. The album explores a narrative about a fictional planet, Polygor, whose inhabitants distribute numbers to the rest of the universe. Their tediously repetitive lives are challenged by Jzero, a slave who brings a new perspective to their existence.
As with Foreigner, the album received a lukewarm response from critics who yearned for a return to Cat’s Tillerman, Teaser era songwriting.