Review: Jack Foley
MOBY is something of a prolific performer. He has made dance
records, and rock records, and ambient records, and heavy metal
He has written classical music for movies and had platinum albums
in almost every country in the western world.
He has DJed in clubs for 100 people and headlined Glastonbury
for 125,000 people.
He has played punk rock in tiny bars in Germany, and he has performed
at the closing ceremonies of the Olympics for an audience of 2
He has had albums that have sold less than 100,000 worldwide
(1996's Animal Rights), and albums that have sold in
the millions (1999's Play and 2002's 18). While
his debut solo release, Go, in 1991, was voted one of Rolling
Stones' top 200 records of all time.
His latest album, Hotel, certainly continues the Moby
tradition of making beautifully eclectic records, running the
gamut from quiet instrumentals (Hotel Intro, Homeward Angel)
to anthems (Spiders, Lift Me Up), to uplifting electro-disco
(Very), to ballads (Forever).
Yet Hotel differs from his most recent efforts, Play
and 18, in that it is completely sample-free, relying
mostly on his own understated vocals as well as those of Laura
As such, it takes some getting used to. Moby's voice isn't the
strongest and its presence on virtually every track takes some
As does the more electro-synth flavour that has its roots more
in the 80s than anything forward looking.
But give it a few listens and fans will probably agree that Hotel
marks a worthy progression of his considerable talents.
It boasts several stand-out tracks, including a deeply under-stated
cover version of New Order's Temptation, which brings
Dawn's soft vocals to the fore, and the feel-good vibes of Beautiful,
which features some sharp guitar bursts and an instantly catchy
Lead single, Lift Me Up, is a suitably upbeat dancefloor
filler with political undertones, while Spiders is another
which builds to a memorable chorus thanks to its uplifting, melody-strewn
And while there's less of the ambience this time around, or the
sound that saw his material cruelly labelled as elevator music,
he signs off with a beautiful nod to the past in the form of the
beautifully mellow Homeward Angel, which has the ability
to put you in a trance.
Hotel might not have the instant accessibility of 18
or Play, but it will doubtless become another important
chapter in Moby's volume of work and is well worth checking into.
And that's not bad for an artist who still makes all of his records
at home in his bedroom!