Lily Moayeri

music journalist since 1992 | teacher since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth

Moby: Innocents (Mute)



Reviewed for Under The Radar Magazine:

Moby Innocents (Mute)

Over the course of 11 albums, Moby has donned many different music personas, from techno button-pusher to punk rocker to sound designer and a whole host of others besides. On his latest, Innocents, Moby creates a body of work for adults. Teaming up with Mark “Spike” Stent (Madonna, Muse, Bjork), Moby allows an outside producer into the creative process for the first time. He also has an attention-grabbing list of collaborators: Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, Skylar Grey, Mark Lanegan, indie troubadour Damien Jurado, Cold Specks, and Inyang Bassey.

Sounding most similar to the album that put Moby on the global map, PlayInnocents doesn’t have any of the former’s individuality. Instead, it melts into a lump of hums and looped voices trying desperately to be given form by orchestral flourishes, case in point, “Saints.” Informed heavily by gospel spirituals, Moby filters these through spooky synthesizers (see: Cold Specks vocalized “Tell Me” and “The Perfect Life” featuring Coyne). Lanegan’s rumbling baritone does a lot in propelling “The Lonely Night” stopping it from stagnating entirely. In contrast, Jurado’s high-pitched wail repeating “wake up, wake up, wake up,” makes you want to slam the snooze so hard the clock breaks. Moby’s voice is devoid of personality, stretching out the already-too-long-at-nine-plus-minutes “The Dogs.”

Innocents has a lot of strong ingredients in place. The expectation is that it should be an album to be reckoned with. It’s not. For the most part, it drags. The personal impetus in each track is undeniable, it just doesn’t sustain itself past the first minute or so, with too much repetition of the same musical ideas. Moby clinging to his youth has a better sonic result than him trying to accept adulthood and representing that in his music.

Hear Innocents on KCRW’s First Listen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pictures of Lily Twitter

Pictures of Lily Instagram

RSS Pictures of Lily Podcast

  • Pictures of Lily Podcast: Episode 1.23: Noel Gallagher October 21, 2020
    In the 23rd episode of the Pictures of Lily Podcast, I talk about my experience behind the scenes of knowing and interviewing Noel Gallagher, with and without Oasis, for various publications … Continue reading →
    Lily Moayeri
  • Pictures of Lily Podcast: Episode 1.22: Doves October 7, 2020
    In the 22nd episode of the Pictures of Lily Podcast, I talk about my experience behind the scenes of interviewing Doves‘ Jimi Goodwin for their album, The Universal Want, for Spin. … Continue reading →
    Lily Moayeri
  • Pictures of Lily Podcast: Episode 1.21: Erasure September 23, 2020
    In the 21st episode of the Pictures of Lily Podcast, I talk about my experiences behind the scenes of interviewing Andy Bell and Vince Clarke of Erasure about their 18th album, The … Continue reading →
    Lily Moayeri
%d bloggers like this: