His music may have taken a back seat to his political activism on social media in recent years, but electronica artist Moby has produced a stirring, intricate, and thought-provoking set of songs on his latest effort Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt.
Mere Anarchy opens proceedings with expansive, cinematic strings over reverse flute and piano sounds. With the lonesome vocals, “Raised by no one, never find home”, it feels as gloomy and immersive as an apocalyptic storm, setting a blueprint for much of the record.
The bottle chimes and dreamy chilled-out vibe of The Waste Of Suns still has a nostalgic edge, but is far more bright in comparison, while Like A Motherless Child fuses a DJ Shadow-esque trip-hop vibe, with a spoken word vocal similar to Moby’s classic Extreme Ways, now synonymous with the Bourne movie franchise.
On this album, Moby takes the dark, indulgent lyrical style of his sombre 2009 album Wait For Me and mixes it with the playful, adventurous soundscapes of his earlier records, like 1999’s Play or 2002’s 18. This can be seen throughout – such as The Middle Is Gone. Despairing lyrics “I’ll try but I’ll never be free” juxtapose jazzy piano chords and a fading house beat, and the warm piano arpeggios of The Ceremony Of Innocence paves the way for lyrics as bleak as Joy Division. The Last Of Goodbyes and Falling Rain And Light both channel Radiohead, before going into emotive, grandiose synth swells.
Almost every song is as immediately gratifying as it is intricately layered. It’s clear Moby still has a lot to say.
Edited by Ginny Wong