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Moby - Destroyed

Moby, Destroyed

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

NINE albums in and Moby shows no sign of losing his spark. Destroyed is an excellent CV addition and one that combines the best of his back catalogue with touches for the future.

Written late at night in hotel rooms around the world, the album marks Moby’s attempt to create a soundtrack for empty cities at 2am. It is designed to evoke nocturnal feelings of both anxious isolation and the comfort of quiet solitude.

Hence, it combines the club sound that helped set him on the road to fame with moments of ambience and cinematic tendencies that came to mark his 18-era phase.

It’s produced by Moby and mixed by Ken Thomas (who has worked with everyone from David Bowie and Queen to Sigur Ros and M83) and was recorded using vintage analog equipment before being mixed on a 1972 Neve mixing desk from Abbey Road.

Moby would prefer listeners to experience it late at night, when the ideology behind it is best observed (according to the PR) but it works as a damn fine listen whatever time you hear it.

Highlights include the recent single The Day, which drops one of the most infectious choruses on the LP, and the cinematic sweep of After, which combines some scintillating beats with a string-like electronic pulse.

Lie Down in Darkness has an opening that deliberately sound-checks the style of former classic Natural Blues, while Victoria Lucas contains a piano arrangement that sounds remarkably like Extreme Ways (the Bourne movie standard). But both still manage to sound fresh and exciting.

There’s a dusky set of late night female vocals to accompany The Low Hum, which offers a nice alternative to Moby’s own tones, while The Right Thing has an almost jazz-soul vibe that could make the soundtrack of a Steven Soderbergh production (complete with more enticing female vocals).

Moments of late-night ambience and solitude can be found in tracks like Stella Maris, which is sparse but beguiling, while there’s a lovely piano arrangement to accompany the early moments of The Violent Bear It Away, which lend it a vague romanticism.

In short, Moby has created an album that is able to illicit a range of emotions: from euphoria to desolation, to romanticism via desperation, happiness and sorrow. It’s an impressive achievement that rates among the finest efforts in his glittering career to date.

Download picks: The Day, After, The Low Hum, Victoria Lucas, The Violent Bear It Away, The Right Thing, Lacrimae, When You Are Old

Track listing:

  1. The Broken Places
  2. Be The One
  3. Sevastopol
  4. The Low Hum
  5. Rockets
  6. The Day
  7. Lie Down in Darkness
  8. Victoria Lucas
  9. After
  10. Blue Moon
  11. The Right Thing
  12. Stella Maris
  13. The Violent Bear It Away
  14. Lacrimae
  15. When You Are Old