Moby, Moby

Michaelangelo Matos

By Michaelangelo Matos

on 04.22.11 in Reviews



Moby's ubiquity in ad soundtracks and New York parties may have diminished the public's appreciation of his gift, but it's worth remembering that once upon a time people liked the man for his music. Early on, Moby became the rave scene's most popular performer because he made music that twinned techno's feet-first sensationalism with distinctly (and distinctive) pop canniness &#8212 see "Go," his first club hit and still his most widely loved record. Like the rest of his Instinct albums, Moby was assembled without the artist's input, and it's more one-dimensional than his Elektra and V2 work, but it's fascinating to hear how closely he hewed to the rave records of the time: the convulsive 303s and micro-stabbing synths giving way to cascading pianos on "Next Is the E"; the menacing, dark-side growls of "Have You Seen My Baby"; the surging blaring synth riffs of "Ah Ah." But the hymn-like "Help Me to Believe" points the way to the artist's more becalmed future.