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Moby - Wait For Me

Moby, Wait For Me

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

MOBY credits a quote from David Lynch as the inspiration behind his latest album, Wait For Me.

“David was talking about creativity, and to paraphrase, about how creativity in and of itself, and without market pressures, is fine. It seems that too often creative output is judged by how well it accommodates the marketplace, how much market share it commands and how much money it generates.

“In making this record I wanted to focus on making something that I loved, without really being concerned about how it might be received by the marketplace. As a result it’s a quieter, more melodic, more mournful and more personal record than some of the records I’ve made in the past.”

Certainly, the intention behind the record is to be applauded, if not necessarily always the execution. Wait For Me is the most relaxed Moby album since 18, and a departure from the more dance-orientated stuff he’s released ever since (such as Last Night and Hotel). In that sense, it’s already his best work in ages.

But by pleasing himself, he occasionally forgets to please the fans and some of the tunes assembled here – particularly later in the album – fail to really take you anywhere special. They’re too mellow, too sparse and not very interesting.

Early on, however, Wait For Me marks a real return to form. Former single Pale Horses is a classic case in point – a track coated in ambient synths, deadly beats, and backed by a serene, sensual female vocal.

Shot In The Back of the Head, meanwhile, is almost Mogwai-esque in the way that it combines foreboding backwards loops and noirish, cinematic guitar wailing. Michael Mann, are you listening…

Album highlight Study War, meanwhile, offers a scintillating mix of sparse piano chords, ambient synths and croaky old political speech samples that actually do inspire.

Walk With Me is a haunting, quasi-gospel track, while Mistake finds Moby assuming vocal duties over a tale of paranoia that’s vaguely rocky by his standards – dare we say Lynch-esque in observation?

Scream Pilots then drops a snappy beat over beautifully simple piano chords to create more 18-era soundscapes.

But thereafter, the album becomes progressively more laidback and progressively less enjoyable. The formula could do with a little more diversity.

Two Jltf tracks barely get going, even though the Engima-like choral samples that sound over the piano loops of Wait For Me revive things briefly.

Hope Is Gone, though, and Ghost Return are simply too sparse, while Slow Light falls into the same trap. You might be longing for a pick-me up. Isolate brings things to a close in entrancing, beguiling fashion, but coming after too many tracks of similar composition, it may be a little too late. Try skipping forward, then returning to the earlier tracks… and you may get more satisfaction.

Wait For Me is a good album that misses out on being great. Had it been 12 tracks rather than 16 it may have worked better. But it’s still worth hearing, especially if you’re a fan of 18 and Play era Moby.

Download picks: Pale Horses, Shot In The Back of the Head, Study War, Scream Pilots, Wait For Me, Isolate

Track listing:

  1. Division
  2. Pale Horses
  3. Shot in the Back of the Head
  4. Study War
  5. Walk With Me
  6. Stock Radio
  7. Mistake
  8. Scream Pilots
  9. JLTF 1
  10. JLTF
  11. A Seated Night
  12. Wait for Me
  13. Hope Is Gone
  14. Ghost Return
  15. Slow Light
  16. Isolate