There are many things about Moby’s new album Innocents that will resonate with his prior fans: the atmospheric background of strings, the occasional piano key, and the peculiar softness of Moby’s voice. However, there is one thing about this album that may throw many devout Moby fans off-kilter: the presence of other artists. Moby traditionally is not known for collaborating with other musicians, but has successfully managed to create some of his best compositions yet due to the various arrays of voices and sounds implemented.
The opening track, “Everything That Rises,” is typical of Moby: creating an ambient “safe-space” with synthesized strings against calming drum patterns, but with an extra sitar-esque exoticness that brings the track to another level. “Almost Home” is a track that would be appreciated by fans of artists like Bon Iver, with falsetto-dominated vocals and depressing/inspiring lyrics (depending on which way you decide to take them). The album is full of highly variable tunes; the listener moves from one genre to another just by skipping to the next track, or sometimes not even that. “The Perfect Life” travels from verses filled with distorted, galactic-sounding, warped guitar reminiscent of a Space Odyssey-era David Bowie, to choruses with church choir vocals and powerful female voices.
Innocents may diverge greatly from the dancy disco beats of Moby’s past, but is another step in a similar direction of his most recent albums falling from mainstream appeal. It is an album best appreciated on a cold, autumn night, relaxing with friends. In a world where dubstep and rapid-beat “rager” music dominate mainstream electronic music, it is nice to hear something a little calmer and a lot more beautiful.
Notable Tracks: Everything that Rises, Almost Home, The Perfect Life, Don’t Love Me
Review by Mikaela Moschella