Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Album review: Moby, “Last Night” (Mute/EMI) [3.5 STARS]

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For all of the charges detractors throw at him, from the claim that he can be self-righteously preachy to the oft-repeated criticism that he can’t and shouldn’t sing (a notion I refute), no one has ever accused Moby of trying to appear cool -- not when he was an underground presence on the then-burgeoning techno scene of the early’90s; not when he scored a phenomenal worldwide pop hit with “Play” in 1999 and certainly not now, when he’s returned to his dance roots after two commercially unsuccessful song-oriented albums in “18” (2002) and “Hotel” (2005).

No, the famously bald, Vegan, 42-year-old musician has always geekily but proudly followed his ultra-square muse wherever it might take him, and on his eighth proper album, it takes him on an all-night, presumably substance-fueled tour of the many diverse sounds of New York’s clubland, neatly condensed into a 65-minute album-length experience. And from the amped-up, pulsating sounds of dance-floor ravers such as “Everyday It’s 1989” and “Disco Lies,” to the merger of house and hip-hop on “I Love to Move in Here” (featuring Grandmaster Caz of “Rapper’s Delight” fame, one of a number of guests who pop up on the disc), to gorgeous, introspective, evening-ending chill-out tunes such as “Sweet Apocalypse” and the title track, it’s a joyous ride.

The key to Moby’s appeal and simultaneously the biggest reason why hipsters always shun him is a devotion to sometimes elaborate but always fetching melodies that are absolutely old-school -- and I’m talking very old-school, as in Bach or Mozart. His grooves may not break new ground, and they may sometimes merely ape the work of more cutting-edge DJs. But the combination of those rhythms with his best, often spiritual-sounding hooks makes for an emotional experience uniquely his own and as welcome on the music scene as it was when he made his first big splash with “Go” in 1991.

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4 Comments

An exemplary and objective review of Moby's "Last Night" CD. As usual some songs are pulsating and others are replete with melancholic pathos. It's a honor to own several of his CDs.

For the life of me I will never get why people hate Moby so much.

I like a lot of Moby's music, but don't have much interest in club music.

Fortunately, he changes styles enough that there's probably a good chance I'll be more interested in his next outing.

Wish he'd experiment with source material from classic jazz recordings. There's only been a few experiments in that area, and none of them have been very successful.

Okay I am on the fence about Moby- love the new record but he is sooooo much fun to hate.. I found this link today where people actually think he is a hunk of burning love:

http://www.thefrisky.com/post/the_daily_hotness_moby/

Love him or keep hating him?

dede

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on April 2, 2008 9:23 AM.

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