Sunday, September 29, 2013

Collaboration Is The Key on New Moby Album

Mute Records
Produced by Mark Stent and Moby
Five Scoops of Bosco

Reviewed by Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

In a career that has been filled with great collaborations with many varying musical artists, it is really no surprise that Moby's eleventh album, (Innocents; due out Tues. Oct. 1) is full of more wonderful collaboration.

Not only does he work vocally with the likes of Al Spx, Damien Jurado, Skylar Grey, Mark Lanegan and Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips), he also, for the first time (on a full length recording anyway), shares producing credits with Mark Stent.

The Grammy Award winning Stent has produced for a wide array of artists including Madonna, Lady Gaga, U2, Beyoncé, Björk, Depeche Mode, Spice Girls, Coldplay, Muse, Lily Allen, Gwen Stefani, No Doubt, Usher, Linkin Park, Maroon 5, and Oasis.  And that is the tip of the iceberg.

To the casual listener, however, it's hard to pick up any discernible influence from Stent on this album save for the fact that much of it instrumentally could be a movie soundtrack which Stent has had much experience with.

This new work is a continuation of Moby's wonderful musical sensibilities that have evolved over the past thirty years and have driven the road from punk to sample-driven Electronica through to very beautiful and emotional music.

Innocents drifts effortlessly through many of Moby's styles.  From the sound of old spirituals in "A Long Time" and "The Last Day" (with Skylar Grey) to the ambient in "Going Wrong" to the gloomy "The Lonely Night", it's all there for his fans to revisit again.

Al Spx (Cold Specks) makes soulful contributions to "A Case for Shame" and "Tell Me" — her voice meshes perfectly with Moby's warm tones.

My favorites on this album are with Flaming Lip's Wayne Coyne, a moving and spiritual song named "The Perfect Life" and a bluesy number with Inyang Bassey called "Don't Love Me". ("I know you don't love me but you don't have to be so mean")

Although Innocents doesn't break any new ground for Moby, it certainly deserves a listen for it's great use of collaborative the artist gets the best out of each of the players.

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