The American electronica producer Moby, best known for thought-provoking tracks such as Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad and Lift Me Up is a veteran in the electronica genre.
Now onto his 11th studio album (the ambigously-titled Innocents), he seems undeterred by the fact that pop music listeners have moved on from his subdued electronica instrumental tracks to louder, drop-dependent electronic dance music (EDM).
Almost Home is the album’s 3rd single and features the delicate falsetto vocals of Damien Jurado, an American indie rock singer/songwriter. Its gentle, slow-paced arrangement with percussion buried in the mix and a looped guitar riff seems to convey the story of a traveller approaching the end of a journey. Of course, it’s up to the listener to determine what this journey is: a physical journey, the journey through life or any other type of journey.
The keyboard parts contribute to the journey theme, as they seem both earthly and extra-terrestrial. Despite the keyboard arrangement recalling the synths off the icy, depressing Subterreaneans (the closing track of David Bowie’s Low album), Almost Home is far more uplifting and hopeful. Moby has remarked that Jurado himself came up with the delicate, sublime melody to the instrumental track, which peaks during the catchy ‘we’re gone, we’re gone, we’re almost home’ in the chorus.
Just as the track becomes repetitive, female background vocals and some bizarre out-of-tune guitar twanging emerge in the final 90 seconds. Whilst they clearly signal that the traveller in the song has arrived home and returned to normality, listeners will be left scratching their heads that such a heavenly track could come crashing down to earth so suddenly.
Almost Home (except its out-of-place final few seconds) is overall the ideal soundtrack for listeners approaching the end of a long trip home.