Follow Us on Twitter

Moby - Last Night

Moby, Last Night

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

MOBY has his detractors but I’ve mostly been a fan, even though he’s been unable to scale the heights of his best-known albums 18 and Play for quite some time.

Sadly, even I have to cast some serious reservations about his latest album, his sixth, which he describes as “a lot more dance orientated and electronic than my last few albums, probably as a result of all the DJing I’ve been doing lately”.

Last Night is basically a love letter to dance music in New York City that’s designed to reflect the eclecticism and the open minded-ness on the part of the musicians, the dj’s, and the people in the bars and clubs. In making it, Moby claims he tried to take a long, eight-hour night out in NYC and condense it into a 65 minute long album.”

It’s an experiment that’s only intermittently successful, despite boasting some useful collaborations (including ’70s MC Grandmaster Caz, one of the writers of Rapper’s Delight, Sylvia from Kuku, UK MC Aynzli and Smokey and SO Simple, of Nigerian hip-hop group, 419 Squad).

The album opens brightly with the effervescent party-starter Ooh Yeah, which drops a piece of electronica almost as euphoric as that employed by MGMT on Time To Pretend, and continues the upbeat vibe into I Love To Move In Here, which seems to embrace a variety of styles, from the straightforward electronica to the ’80s style of the KLF and Rhythm Is A Dancer (especially during its rapped middle section).

So far, so good. But by veering into cheesy ’80s territory on the blip-heavy 257.Zero the album begins to threaten to conform to the over-used trend for revisiting that decade, and continues this with the bland Everyday It’s 1989, which should have remained in the ’80s and been forgotten about!

Indeed, the album doesn’t find its feet again until dropping former single Alice, a genuinely brooding dance number, that conforms to the sound of kick-ass template that enabled Moby to become such a mainstay of the Jason Bourne soundtracks. It’s a moody, atmospheric delight that shuffles along in supremely hip fashion.

Hyenas almost maintains that high level of quality, dropping some seductive French vocals over a slick beat, but I’m In Love fails to impress, despite some husky, Macy Gray-style vocals, and there’s way too much electronica on Disco Lies, which seems more in step with the Miami/Ibiza superclub scene rather than New York.

You can imagine that Moby envisaged night meeting day when he penned the trance-like comedown tracks Degenerates and Sweet Apocalypse, both of which mark an improvement on what’s immediately come before, while Mothers Of The Night provides a welcome reminder of the artist’s ambient best.

But title track Last Night ends things on a curiously indifferent note that kind of sums up the overall sensation you get from listening to the album. It does have some fine moments, but there are also too many bland ones in between.

From a concept album devoted to one of the most lively and vibrant cities on the planet, that’s a curiously disappointing feeling.

Download picks: Ooh Yeah, Alice, I Love To Move In Here, Sweet Apocalypse, Mothers Of The Night, Hyenas

Track listing:

  1. Ooh Yeah
  2. I Love To Move In Here
  3. 257 Zero
  4. Everyday It’s 1989
  5. Live For Tomorrow
  6. Alice
  7. Hyenas
  8. I’m In Love
  9. Disco Lies
  10. Stars
  11. Degenerates
  12. Sweet Apocalypse
  13. Mothers Of The Night
  14. Last Night