CD Review: Moby, Wait for Me (with video)

The way-too-short album opener, "Division," seems like it'd be right at home on a war movie soundtrack. A mass of strings swell emotively as cellos drag the melody along in the mud towards that Bright Light. It's touching and epic -- just the kind of thing I'd expect to hear during the slow motion climax of a gruesome battle.


The opening of "Shot In The Back Of The Head" sounds like it was recorded in some messy teenager's basement, slapped onto vinyl, then crunched around in a washing machine and laid out in the sun for a couple days. But 40 seconds in, we're back to the studio for more synthified glossiness. But I guess we should expect that kind of bipolar recording from a Moby experiment inspired by David Lynch (who directed the music video for the song; check it out below).


"Stock Radio" is a stream of vibrating and swishing monotone nothingness, 50 seconds of "recording an old broken bakelite radio and running it through some broken old effects pedals to see what it would sound like." Sometimes it's fun to see artists just playing around, but this track is too short, random, and oddly placed on an album of personal, emotional melodies.


The pacifist message of "Study War" is timely and meaningful, and the tune is upliftingish, but five minutes of spoken repetition is no one's friend.


I have never tried to imagine what elevator music and a cathedral choir would sound like together. Thanks to "A Seated Night," now I don't have to. Not what I expected, but interesting nonetheless.


Moby simultaneously draws us in and shoves us away during Wait For Me. The confusing mood changes are slightly uncomfortable, yet are also a refreshing break from the typical verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus style of songwriting. Moby was right: this is different, beautiful, emo stuff. Encompassing the listener with soothing and lilting swarms of sound, he definitely develops a mood. As soothing as the mood is, an hour of the synthy warmth and I'm mental putty. Don't listen to this at work or while operating heavy machinery.


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Moby has a rare gift — he's incapable of sucking at anything. Whether he's creating pulse-pounding beats or lulling melodies, the man has skills. He makes music because he feels something and wants the person putting on their headphones to feel it, too. With Wait For Me, his ninth studio album, Moby is experimenting again to mostly great effect. He's commented that he set out to make "a really emotional, beautiful record" and as far as I can tell, he's succeeded. The album is one big instrumental cloud of ethereal Where-Am-I-ness, like how it must feel trying to sprint across the Moon.

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