Saturday, February 20, 2010

Catching Up With Moby

After a few quiet years Moby released his not terribly commercial ode to New York City nightlife Last Night and a remix album in 2008. Inspired by speech given by David Lynch he then announced he was no longer working with celebrity vocalists, not that there were any on Last Night, producing an album to be released on his own label without any conventional commercial inroads in the form of 2009's Wait For Me. Within six months Moby was promoting the re-release of the album with a hot new wave single and a facebook pyramid scheme that gains you sampler EP.

Without skipping a beat Moby just wrapped up a couple of recording sessions that go in yet another direction so he is now mulling over the album's worth of material contemplating "if putting out an acoustic/orchestral album will alienate the few remaining people who are willing to listen to my records". My advice, which Moby would know if he read my still-in-draft reviews of his recent work, is that he needs a producer or at least someone with an objective ear to whittle down his material so he releases focused material that is compelling to an audience outside of his hardcore fans. I am not saying that he needs to act like a chart obsessed pop princess but he should be aware that his muse needs to be sharper. Why should he listen to a guy who can't finish a review in the time it takes him to record two albums? Because I'm right. I followed him during his 180° turn with Animal Rights, the original UK rock version, and was one of the 6,000 worldwide who picked up Play the first week it was released. Stop flooding the market with singles full of mediocre remixes and get back to releasing music with real passion and purpose. The audience will find it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Flashback: Everything But The Girl Temperamental (1999)

I wrote this review for a college radio station a decade ago:

The stylistic makeover that began with their collaboration on Massive Attack's "Protection" is solidified on this album which firmly establishes EBTG's place among the electro-pop elite. Written while instrumentalist/songwriter Ben Watt was recovering from a life threatening illness, the melancholy disco songs of Temperamental, set to house, trip hop and drum 'n' bass beats, can be heard as music for the end to a long night out. The beats might be a bit generic, but the honesty of the songs coupled with Tracey Thorn's mesmerizing voice take the music to a level that is all it's own.