Multi-platinum artist Moby continues his tradition of making beautifully eclectic records with his incredible new CD hotel. The CD is his first studio record in two years, and unlike Play and 18, is sample free. Moby plays all the music on the album and sings throughout. Vocalist Laura Dawn adds some vibe to four tracks. The songs range from quiet instrumentals to big chorus stadium anthems, to straight forward electric-disco, to ballads and even new wave to everything in between.
Once a roving maverick who skipped from euphoric rave to speed-metal to ambient soundscaping as if just to prove he could, recent years have seen Richard Melville Hall relax into a comfortable--and yes, lucrative--niche. On the surface, Hotel
follows a similarly laid-back trajectory to his last two albums, Play
; melancholic torch-songs indebted to electro-pop, gospel, and David Bowie
's "Heroes." That vibe is typified on Hotel
by the rousing, keyboard-drenched likes of "Beautiful" and the twinkling, optimistic "Spiders," but that's not to say Moby is stagnating, exactly. For one, he's bravely jettisoned the vocal samples that powered the likes of "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?" and relies instead on his own understated, faintly awestruck vocals--and, indeed, those of guest vocalist Laura Dawn, whose sparse, synth-and-drum-machine cover of New Order
's "Temptation" is a low-key highlight. But there's also a return to his raving roots on the pulsing, diva-led "Very," and a touch of politics on "Lift Me Up"--a song that hides its contempt for the Bush Administration amid a dark carnival of sweeping strings and disco-noir rhythms. --Louis Pattison