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I first heard Moby circa 1993 when a friend played me his 'Move' EP. I was diving headlong into the world of the rave culture and Moby was well known in this culture. I fell in love with his music immediately. His 'Ambient' disc and 'Everything Is Wrong' were albums in heavy rotation during a period of serious soul searching. There was something transcendent, ethereal almost, in the way he was able to craft a song.
For those long, dark nights, yet blissful in a melancholy kind of way, his music was the perfect fit.
I smiled as his music became hugely popular and ubiquitous (you know, the 'oh, you're just discovering him' kind of thing). His amalgam of old gospel songs and catchy electronica was, at the time, cutting edge. After his '18' release, however, I had moved on to other sounds and dabbled in his music at best, though I found the 'Hotel' album to be a move forward as he added more and more vocals.
Anyhow, when I read the blurb on the late night, isolated insomniac vibe of this album somehow I just knew...
There is a melancholy sound that is a throwback to his early works yet the changes and growth of his later releases are meshed into one here sounding comfortable yet completely fresh. It feels highly personal and mature, pensive yet peaceful. He creates beautiful, sometimes sad, sometimes blissful, orchestral electronic music that gets into your headspace and takes you places.
I'll leave out the details but I had an epiphany of sorts while listening to this album and as the epiphany deepened (at 70+ mph on the highway, mind you) as 'Lacrimae' played it felt like a religious experience. Deep, deep bliss.
The album is best absorbed as a whole, as an experience, headphones or long drives late at night highly recommended.
Opening is the ambient instrumental "The Broken Places", and there are many more where that came from; the upbeat "Sevastopol", the cinematic cathedral "Stella Maris", and "The Violent Bear It" (with swirling keys and gentle beats midway that rise to a chiming crescendo).
Some songs like "Be The One" have repetitive lyrics acting as flourishes in the same way as say synths. "The Low Hum" is an echoey ballad with female vocals. The Bowie-style "The Day" is light Rock (with existential questioning lyrics, written after the passing of his mother), while "Lie Down In Darkness" features gloomy soulful female vocals remniscent of tracks from "Play". "The Right Way" features languid female vocals over cascading keys and lush strings.
There are a few Dancefloor moments; "Victoria Lucas" (with hummed vocals and which takes a while to build), the dramatic "After" (with vocodered vocals and Moby's juxtaposed with Middle Eastern-sounding harmonies), the Eurodisco "Blue Moon" (with male vocals), and the Giorgio Moroder-inspired "Sandpaper" (with repetitive sampled female vocals and available as a download on Amazon).
As I earlier stated, "Destroyed" features enough contrast to make it devastating!
I think most of the negative and blase reviews came from "critics" and assorted media pinheads who only listened to parts of the first couple tracks. An unfortunate and increasingly common practice these days - to pass judgement on a record after only skimming through portions of the first two or three cuts.
But yes, DESTROYED does begin on a mellow note...it's a fairly slow-paced record, after all. It does not attempt to instantly clobber you with mile-a-minute dance beats, yowling vocal samples, or rat-a-tat synth assaults.
It's also not front-loaded with the most obviously impressive tracks, so most of those derisively aforementioned "critics" (coughs) never even had a chance to take in the content of the record they were supposedly reviewing. Point in case: my personal favorite track is the penultimate "Lacrimae," a gently powerful instrumental that almost imperceptibly slow-builds its way to towering heights of soul-stirring cathartic beauty. But in our increasingly ADD-addled, info-blip obsessed, faster/louder/dumber culture, how many will even be able to appreciate such a song? (insert depressed sigh)
And most of the songs here are structurally similar to "Lacrimae" in that they begin sparsely, with just a techno-bleep here and a whispery sound-swirl there, and gradually expand in both musical complexity and emotional wallop. In other words, some measure of patience, focus, and faith are required to effectively enter the electro-cathartic Mobyscape of DESTROYED.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a gift, not to my taste but the 'giftee' thought it was great.Published 7 months ago by Melissa Lyman
“Destroyed” marks an extreme departure from the electronica/dance stuff on “Play”, “18”, “Hotel” or any of his old releases. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Ivan Howe The Great
This album vacillates somewhat oddly back and forth between relatively conventional rock pieces and more atmospheric music. Read morePublished on July 1, 2014 by JB
I was rather disappointed in this Moby release. Sounded like it was to be movie music or something. Funny because I usually like everything he puts out.Published on April 4, 2014 by W. Starkey