What can you say about Moby that hasn't been said before? He's pretentious, but at the same time he feels kind. He got very rich from having his tunes in movies and selling almost the whole of his excellent sample-filled "Play" to commercials. Now he can make music just because he feels like it - out of love. You can tell by listening to his latest release, "Hotel".
Where Moby's latest release, "18", was a tour de force for him as a songwriter, with the sampler in a firm grip under his pale arm, "Hotel" contains almost no samples what so ever. Instead, we get to hear Moby, the instrumentalist, and Moby, the singer, and the result is... nice. You see, Moby really doesn't make music to earn money, he makes it so that both you and he can feel good and get something to think about. From the anonymous but sweet ambient instrumentals, to uplifting songs like "Beautiful" and the cover of New Order's "Temptation", "Hotel" is clearly a labour of love by a man who wants to be a "real" musician, casting aside the samples that made him famous. It is a nice, bubbly and sunny listen, but it doesn't reach the extatic heights of "Go" and "Natural Blues" - and certainly not "We're All Made of Stars". A sort of coy fascination for the post punk and new wave of the 80's shines through, and so does a will to make good, maybe not great, but yes good, songs. If you open your mind, I actually don't think you can dislike "Hotel". But at the same time I cannot see anyone holding it as the album that will change their life.
"Hotel" is a good rock/pop/whatever album with an electronic edge. Nothing more. Nothing less. Moby makes music just for the fun of it. It shows. And it feels kind of nice.