x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

A majestic finale from Moby

Will Moby ever be allowed to move beyond his huge hit album Play? His new album Destroyed implies it may happen.

Moby

Destroyed

(Little Idiot)

***

 

Still best-known for his sample-heavy hits of the late 1990s, Moby has actively pursued a more rock 'n' roll ethos on recent releases, but steps back in time here. Destroyed is a good, old-fashioned chill-out record, but on a grand scale. The New York producer's ninth studio album is released in conjunction with a coffee-table book of his own photographs, which veer from euphoric audience shots to gloomy hotel scenes, and the music soundtracks that peripatetic existence. These tracks were born in lonely late-night rooms and the overall feel is dark and sometimes sinister, although a low-key instrumental will occasionally evolve into a festival-friendly anthem. Different nights presumably found Moby in different moods. Be the One would sit easily on Daft Punk's Tron Legacy soundtrack and hints at a futuristic vision, but the 15-track marathon is then weighed down by too much pointless vocal earnestness, painfully reminiscent of those superstar trance DJs who would let their wives sing on their singles. The Right Thing and After then take us back to hook-laden, turn-of-the-millennia Moby, and the album enjoys an unexpectedly majestic denouement. The four-song instrumental finale - in particular Stella Maris's spiritual strings and the Michael Nyman-like piano of The Violent Bear it Away - are truly breathtaking, and shine a revealing light on this enigmatic talent. Ignore Moby at your peril: he may well rise again.