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Moby
HOTEL
(V2)

The little bald-headed dude with self-absorbed lyrics (his SoHo studio is plastered with floor-to-ceiling posters of himself) and a samplerís sense of musical identity, Moby has always been an easy mark for critics and fans alike. When he sampled Alan Lomaxís field recordings for his platinum-selling Play, many cried artistic foul while grudgingly enjoying the albumís silken beats and bluesy shouts. Ditto for the synth-pre-set strings, vapid vocals, and overreaching pop songs of his next album, 18.

This new double CD, his first-ever sample-free release, wonít change anyoneís mind unless he or she gives it a serious listen. Moby hasnít altered his style or his sound, but the synth-pop singles ("Very"), sniveling ballads ("Forever"), and Bowie-esque rockers ("Spiders") seem to have more sincerity and substance than previously. The second disc, labeled "Hotel-Ambient," is a soothing blob of delicate tones and melancholy textures that ooze calm and comfort, as if Moby were nostalgic for the good old days when he was still a struggling DJ with only his Herman Melville connection (the writer was his great great grand-uncle) to help get him some press. Now a veteran electronic artist in a musical landscape that has little time for age or electronica, he wins after all.

BY KEN MICALLEF


Issue Date: March 4 - 10, 2005
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