"Destroyed" (Moby) (Little Idiot) – Album of the Week (5/24/11)
Ever the renaissance man, multi-faceted artist Moby is back at it with his 10th studio album Destroyed (and an exhibit of Moby’s own photography to go with it). Having been released in the US on May 16, 2011, Destroyed is the product of a life spent on tour as expressed by a man suffering from an impressive case of insomnia… a fact which would likely be made apparent by the music itself, whether or not you knew beforehand. Leaning more towards his past works like Hotel (as opposed to 1999′s international chart-topper Play), this is an album rife with electronic soundscapes and carefully composed orchestral arrangements; however, through all of its ambience and late-night feel there is still a sense of disconnect between the songs that has not normally been a problem for Moby, who is by all means a musical genius.
Moving away from the feel of the album as a whole, there are definitely a few tracks that stand out, the foremost of which was (in my opinion) the stunningly beautiful “Stella Maris” and the slightly more energetic “Lie Down in Darkness”. The former of these two really brings the listener in to that 3:30am restlessness that inspired so much of Destroyed‘s content, while “Lie Down In Darkness” brings a bit of the on-the-road angst that can accompany long-term, international travel. Most important to note however, is that through all of this orchestration and instrumentalism this is very clearly an album made for Moby by Moby. He has become famous for his unique sounding works, and while Destroyed struggles to provide much in the way of truly new-sounding material it very definitely makes good use of a style that has been over a decade in the making.
Despite a review that may seem less than glowing, I really have enjoyed this album… especially on those insomnia-filled night I myself have been known to experience. The included photo booklet (in the deluxe addition) is truly worth having as it provides a visual experience to go with the music, and gives even more insight in to both the emotional and physical experiences that drove this album in to existence. All the photos were taken by Moby himself, who has been receiving nearly as much acclaim for his work in the photography community as for his work in the musical community. The combined bundle is available at any major retailer for $25 (or $12.99 for the album-only edition), as well as the digital version which can be found on iTunes for $12.99 (and includes some extra video and interview footage). And last but not least, for those of you wanting to pick at Moby’s brain and/or production process a little bit more, there’s an awesome interview available over at Wired.com