Since these times Moby has released two further albums, which haven't quite hit the heady heights of those times back in the early Noughties – will this long player be the one to bring back the glory years?
To be fair, it's a pleasant attempt, with a more contemporary sound than previous albums, but then Moby is pretty much king of pleasant sounds, being a graduate of the early ambient electronica era. The concept behind this ninth studio release is supposedly the "behind the scenes" life of touring. The artificial life of living city to city, staying in hotel rooms, passing through airports and such like, and the moments before sleeping in these sterile environments. Unfortunately, it isn't perhaps the most interesting of concepts for an album...
There are some highlights though - "Sevastopol" is nice enough – atmospheric with the kind of musicality that you expect from Moby, and once the drums kick in, actually builds into a good track, though it all too soon breaks down again. 'Victoria Lucas" is gloriously atmospheric, and really evokes the feeling of being in that dreamlike time when your body wants to sleep, but your mind isn't ready yet. "The Right Thing" is really lovely; very emotional, and quite orchestral in style, the singing really makes this track work – best on the album. "Stella Maris" is a close second, being almost religious in nature, such is the feeling evoked through the angel-like voices and long string notes.
Overall, I think Moby has not produced one of those classic after-hours albums, as it sometimes relaxes, then pumps away for a bit, before settling down once again. It might not sound strange for an electronic album, but this is usually done quickly over the space of part of a track, which stops you being able to relax, listen or dance to it. The experience is at times as emotionally sterile as that airport lounge and though this was the aim, it could stop people "getting" it also. It's a shame, as Moby is quite the accomplished musician, with an ear for a catchy tune, as he has shown in the past. Some people may find it a work of genius, I found it a little difficult to connect with in places, though there is no faulting the technical precision of a master craftsman.