Album Review: Moby – Innocents
Returning with one of his most collaborative projects yet, EDM icon Moby is back with a new album titled Innocents, a release that will surely propel him back to his former 90’s hey-day glory.
Moby’s most successful release to date, 1999’s Play, provided the soundtrack to the closing of a millennium and the years that followed with a string of enormously successful singles that found their way into blockbuster films like The Beach, almost every TV commercial running at the time and into the hearts of millions of music lovers the world over. You had to be hiding under a rock to not know of Porcelain, Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad or the up-tempo Honey. It wasn’t just the singles that were hailed as masterpieces however – many of the tracks on the record that were unreleased are internationally recognized ‘hits’ for the musician and that isn’t something that acts generally accomplish with an album.
Of course, Play isn’t his only achievement. Moby did find success with releases before and after Play but on a much lesser scale so perhaps this latest effort will give a little bit of a glow to a star than has been dimming since his Play success. Innocents certainly sounds like a strong continuation of that ground breaking collection and going by this brand new basket of tunes, could place him back at the top of his game in the same way that Play made the musician a household name over a decade ago.
Cracking open new album is Everything That Rises and you couldn’t really ask for a more beautiful song to open a record. This one reminds us a little of Play closer, My Weakness with its repetitive yet powerfully atmospheric build up to the new track listing. There are no vocals within the track – just 4 and a half minutes of gorgeously arranged instrumentation.
The track listing, much like other Moby efforts, is balanced nicely between vocal fronted pennings with artists old and new and gorgeously arranged instrumentals.
The following Cold Specks duet, A Case For Shame is in our opinion one of Moby’s finest achievements to date. Placed over a subtle piano backbone, the vocals that are delivered by the Cold Specks front woman Al Spx makes the track both captivating and memorable and is the perfect collaboration to ignite the Innocents flame as the records lead single. Al also lends her distinctive vocal licks on another album highlight, Tell Me nearing the end of the record.
Almost Home sees Moby join forces with American indie vocalist Damien Jurado. The number takes a balladic form with a synth providing the musical landscape for Jurado to place his crooner-esque vocals over while a female vocalist offers the track with some subtle backing vocals that certainly compliment the tracks climax.
One of the finest collaborative vocalists on the scene these days, Skylar Grey, provides an ambient touch to The Last Day, the singers swaying and husky vocals injecting a heavy dose of mainstream within the middle of the record. It would be a shock if this track wasn’t selected as a single from the record given the success of Skylar’s previous collaborations (Dr Dre’s I Need A Doctor, Rihanna and Eminem’s Love The Way You Lie).
Moby hasn’t gone out of his way to make an album that is ground-breaking or innovative with Innocents; instead he has pieced together a record that boasts 12 stunning, inspiring and emotive tracks that sit confidently within the EDM stars expansive repertoire. His skills lend well to any genre and, like the long list of acts that the star has worked with over the years including Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Daft Punk and Britney Spears, those skills play a prominent role with Innocents’ diverse running order.