Written by: Jimmy Hitt, CC2K Staff Writer
CC2K offers some free advice to everyone's favorite musician and American maritime novelist descendant
Yes, that's right. The petrified stump that is NYC's vegan baldy turned strange bedfellow of Gwen and Co., AKA Moby, AKA Richard Melville Hall — don't forget the Melville…ever — can officially be categorized as a lawn ornament. You know, one of those ceramic elves that frat kids steal and make into a bong. His new album proffers two unfortunate suppositions that, once begotten, cannot be undone: that Moby can somehow encompass two dissimilar concepts–namely the history of techno in New York and one night raving said metropolis–over a 14 track album. What we end up getting, instead of what should be approximately a 4GB retrospective to say the least, is one man's impression of various techno sub-genres, from the stilted 80s disco inflections of "Disco Lies" to the slightly minimal "Mothers of the Night."
Brief Caveat: if I didn't know this was Moby, I might just assume that I had a VA on my hands featuring wild eclecticism, much of which shadowed the rise and fall of MC Hammer. And then I'd say, hey, guy that sent me the VA, that was weird. What gives?
Then I hear the unmistakable late 90s piano mashings on "I Love to Move in Here" and remind myself that only Moby would be so naive as to think he can genre surf such giant waves without getting buried.
Not So Brief Caveat: I get it. I know what Moby is trying to do and I can respect that. He's getting up there in years. The lifespan of a music star is similar to that of a tennis pro. You've got about five years to make your scene and beyond that you are either living in the past or you never made it in the first place. Moby obviously made it. He sold nearly 10 million copies of Play. He owns a stainless steel butcher's table and a roof garden in Little Italy. He's gone from hardcore punk–nearly gagged when I saw him on the American Hardcore doc–to winning VMAs. He's played to thousands of people and even can whip out a guitar solo. He's a talent, to say the least. But a retrospective aping of any sort strikes me as about as lasting as Knicks throwback jerseys. It's a once and done thing maybe appropriate for a DJ set. But as a whole album?
My advice to Moby, which comes free of charge: take a cue from the DFA camp and take all these various influences, put them in a blender, write some actual songs, and wow us one last time. You've got the ability. We all know how smart you are. But leave the genres to the kids. You've ascended the mountain and can see beyond the vast megafauna. And for god's sake throw your essays away and unplug your string emulator. The kids don't have emotions; just drugs.