mon 01/06/2020

Album: Moby - All Visible Objects | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Moby - All Visible Objects

Album: Moby - All Visible Objects

US electronic dance perennial takes a rare stumble with his bombastic latest

Too many clouds in this sky

Moby is perhaps better known these days for his two ultra-candid biographies, Porcelain and Then It Fell Apart, than he is for his massive album successes of two decades ago.

Moby is perhaps better known these days for his two ultra-candid biographies, Porcelain and Then It Fell Apart, than he is for his massive album successes of two decades ago. His memoirs are compulsive, unique windows into the screwed up life of an intellectually inquisitive, punk rock-spirited, rave nerd who accidentally, briefly experienced superstardom. But he’s also fired out a series of dynamic, varied albums over the last decade, including music the match of anything in his back catalogue (“Almost Home”, featuring Damien Jurado, from 2013, is one of this century’s loveliest songs). Sadly, however, All Visible Objects ends that gold run.

The New York electronic don has always had a penchant for orchestral opulence, an ear for layered, heart-tucking synthesized swells of strings. It’s at the heart of his best-known work, and he’s always performed a balancing act, ensuring things don’t drift into the obvious and cheesy. Most of his seventeenth studio album, however, comes at the ears with all the nuance of a runaway milk float. While lack of subtlety, from Led Zeppelin to Skrillex, isn’t necessarily a musical crime, Moby’s latest has an unpleasant EDM gigantism akin to a steroid Faithless having it out with Martin Garrix.

There are exceptions - lead single “Power is Taken” is a stentorian, ominous hard house banger featuring vocals from Dead Kennedys drummer DH Peligro, and is a blast – but mostly, whether accompanied by the sterling gospel-style lung-power of singer Apollo Jane or the grandiose trance synths of “Forever”, the results are bombastic rather than persuasive. There are tunes such as “Separation” where emotive piano is a feature, but they strive in vain for the cinematic sense of atmosphere that appears to be the goal.

Moby’s last three albums, including two as The Void Pacific Choir, have all been bedded down in his rage and sadness at what his country – and the world - is undergoing. All Visible Objects seems to be a conscious attempt to move away from that and explore new territory – in this case a behemoth, stadium sized sonic update on what he did in the late-Nineties – but it proves to be a misstep. However, given he's handing all the proceeds of the album to various charities, we can only wish it every bit of luck.

Below: Watch the video for "Power is Taken" by Moby feat. DH Peligro of Dead Kennedys

Given he's handing all the proceeds of the album to various charities, we can only wish it every bit of luck

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Editor Rating: 
2
Average: 2 (1 vote)

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