ALBUM WARNER RELEASE: MAY 13,
2002 REVIEW: MAY 31, 2002
doesnt just sound a bit like the David Bowie of the seventies on
opening track "We Are All Made of Stars". He also has the ability
of David Bowie, and Madonna for that matter, to pick up pieces of and
trends in the contemporary culture and make music out of it. If his latest
record "Play" in a way could be categorised as sampled blues,
"18" can be summed up as sampled soul (as one critic has noted).
This is not a problem. "18" is a great album, full of competent,
easily listened to, tracks.
the musicianship is maybe too competent. "Feeling has given way to
craftsmanship, for better and for worse", my esteemed colleague Mattias
Huss wrote when Moby released "Play" three years ago. I cant
but agree. I mean, Moby obviously has the feeling - no doubt of that.
It is just that his craftsmanship sometimes gets the better of him, making
"18" into a very even album, too even in a way. After listening
to it one time, one is left with a feeling of too many songs, not being
able to discern between them. Then, after listening to it a couple more
times, a few highlights crystallise (like the brilliant "In This
World" and the mentioned catchy single "We Are All Made of Stars"),
but the initial feeling persists.
Moby just is too damn good for his own best - at least in making easily
listened to electronic music, aimed at mass consumption? "18"
would have been a truly great album if Moby just would have cut out like
five songs and made it a bit edgier, less streamlined. At least he should
have thrown away his try at hip-hop ("Jam for the Ladies") at
an early stage in the creative process.
its current form, "18" is a cool and well made album that many
people will use as background music. Not much more.