Destroyed, the tenth studio album by dj and musician Moby, is the sum of great effort. There is little doubt, when listening over the fifteen tracks, that a lot of time has been dedicated towards the project.
It seems time and effort do not always equate to genius, however, as what Moby has produced here in Destroyed comes off, sort of, well, “blah.” The tracks aren’t bad. They’ve been meticulously planned, follow formulaic electronica ideas, and nails the blueprint dead-on. Yet perhaps it’s this feeling of formula that leads the listener to hints of disappointment. After all, this is Moby we’re talking about, one of the biggest artists in electronic music. Ever. Casual “strictly-radio” listeners recognize his name. Even those who have never listened to a song by Moby, expect them to be genius. With expectations so high, something that may normally score a six of a seven on a rating scale plummets to a three or a four.
None of the tracks on Destroyed are unlistenable. But none are really that desirable, either. The album sort of floats in a gray area of blandness. Synths sound too familiar. Vocoders (those things that make your voice sound all mechanic or extra-terrestrial) seem tired and too frequent. Moby should be breaking new ground and starting new trends; it feels here more as though he’s paying homage to an earlier time in electronica. Only thing is, that time was only ten or fifteen years ago. The nostalgia hasn’t started to kick in yet.
Tracks like “Blue Moon” show this off best. The chirping of a 1980’s era laser shooting off every four beats. The robotic backup vocals. The monotonic pace of lyric delivery. It all sounds like everything else in the scene has sounded for years. And although Moby has always leaned towards the ambient, it would be nice to hear a little more excitement here. “The Day,” for example, never seems to really take the listener anywhere. It wanders decently, but struggles to hit a sweet spot. The three and a half minute track sums up the album as a whole.
The constant urge to keep emphasizing that something isn’t that bad gives away the fact that some aspects of it certainly lack. It would have been nice to see Moby blaze a new trail here; show us what the next ten years of electronic music would sound like. There was a time, after all, when Moby’s tracks, not Lady Gaga’s, topped the UK charts, demanding the country to listen in. It seems Moby’s slipped from that foothold with his past few albums. That’s not to say there still isn’t plenty of hope. Most of us fans recognize that he’s got what it takes to write the next album of the year. We’re just going to have to wait for his next at-bat.
Written by Dean GoranitesDestroyed by thelittleidiot