Monday, June 29, 2009
Album Review: Moby - Wait for Me (4 / 5)
Moby's last album, Last Night was the first of his albums that I payed attention to since 1999s, Play which became his first offering to receive commercial success--crossing over to pop, selling 10 million copies worldwide and spawning the fantastic single "Porcelain" which also became his first top 5 hit. Last Night, was nowhere near as compelling--but cooked up a decent, heavily '80s and '90s inspired listen, Incorporating everything from well crafted house ("Disco Lies" and "Everyday It's 1989") to smooth synth soaked numbers ("Live for Tomorrow").
Wait for Me, Moby's ninth album already shows signs of amendment (not that its predessor was anything defeicient). Wait for Me, takes a more soft and angelic approach--it's possibly more instrumental driven, that idea comes to the forefront after the symphonic celestial opener "Division" indulging in smooth orchestration which eventually drowns itself pacidly into the first track "Pale Horses" a mid-tempo, shadowed by a depressing, fairly static styled female vocal. Following up swiftly is the alterative styled "Shot In the Back of the Head" which delivers an amiable configuration of strings, drums and immobile electronic piano keys.
The piano, drum and violin backed "Study War" contains an empowering speech vocal loop. I know the speech from somewhere, but I can't put my finger on it, at first I was so sure it was Dr. Martin Luther King's. Wait for Me, may not be Moby's most diverse offering--it seems to stay within a tight shift between his signature electronica (both in soft and more upbeat forms) and largely watered down pop and trip-hop (a genre of music, which is near extinct). "Walk with Me" begins with some horns, with haunting thumps in the background. This is one of the few songs that tries to obtain a traditional song structure, the (what I guess) is the chorus is simple but dauntingly effective. I also really like the extensive instrumental mid-section.
"Mistake" is the more assertive tracks on the album, also taking up a more missionary configuration. It's noticeably more upbeat then most of the other stuff on the album, pulsing with synth and melodic orchestration. I love it when the drums becoming more distinctive when the chorus approaches. "Scream Pilots" acts as a 2 minute play out to "Mistake" so it's nothing really that noteworthy, but it does add a nice piano to the already brilliant composition.
Whilst some faint darkening moments have been explored before the halfway point on the album ("Walk with Me" is pretty darkening and so is "Shot In the Back of the Head") but the true darkening moments of the album begin with the 1 minute set of dim orchestrations on "JLTF 1" before emerging into "JLTF" which is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Taking a John Mayer-ish route, it's a haunting and beautiful acoustic styled downtempo number.
Moby pulls out the choir on "A Seated Night;" staring out a wonderful gathering of vocals back with a rhythmic hi-hat and great mostly violin based orchestration. The title track "Wait for Me" begins with piano keys and some hums from the female vocal. It does start fairly dark and depressing but does light up halfway through. I don't particularly care for "Hope Is Gone;" it's a bit too slow and tepid for my taste.
With the addition of "Hope Is Gone" the quarter part of the album is really lackluster compared to everything else. Seeming more as a set of bonus tracks, rather than part of the album. "Ghost Return" obtains a nice melody, specially during the first few moments but then fizzles after. "Slow Light" brings back the drums and orchestration, but I'm not too fond of it. Closing the album is the moody "Isolate" backed tightly with faint strings and bleeps. Maybe not the best closing song but I do like it.
Wait for Me, could be Moby's second best album (to, Play) and I wouldn't know it--I've still yet to check out his albums, 18 and Hotel although I've heard some singles fro them. Apart from a 2 or 3 downers, this is a pretty solid album, so it's another winner from Moby.
Best: Shot In the Back of the Head, Walk With Me, JLTF, Study War, Scream Pilots, Mistake