Hotel

Studio Album by released in 2005
Hotel's tracklist:
Hotel Intro
Raining Again
Beautiful
Lift Me Up
Where You End
Temptation
Spiders
Dream About Me
Very
I Like It
Love Should
Slipping Away
Forever
Homeward Angel
35 Minutes

Hotel review

A former club DJ, Moby has gone on to make a name for himself as a great producer, collaborator, and jack-of-all-trades musician. During the last 15 years, the Moby has made all kinds of different music: techno and ambient, electro-blues and rock, punk and metal. This time, he's made yet another kind: music without samples. In the liner notes to Hotel, Moby states that, whether he likes it or not, he’s “messy and human.” (As opposed to, say, the more efficient but less entertaining tidy and robotic.) And Hotel easily lives up to that assessment. Forsaking samples, Moby shifts his focus this time around to harder beats and radio-friendly pop hooks. His voice is also nakedly exposed, unmodulated and free of Pro Tools reconfiguration.

His latest offering is a double-disc. On Disc One Moby delivers a pulsing single-note piano on Raining Again, with touching vocals about sadness, a catchy chorus, and big beats — it sounds like a carry-over from previous albums. To appease Moby’s inner robot, there are the graceful structures populating a bonus disc filled with more than an hour’s worth of easy-gliding ambient compositions. Moby opens it with Swear, a beautiful onslaught of digital sound. That contrast between electronica and pop leaves Hotel wonderfully varied, and is arguably responsible for the album’s beauty — and it is a beautiful album. Dueting with Laura Dawn (formerly of the all-girl punk ensemble Fluffer), Moby gets his groove on. Laura Dawn also helps out with vocals on Very, one of the finest moments on Hotel and a song that harkens back to the days when disco was king. Positive tracks like Lift Me Up, with its pumping rhythm, and the inspiring Beautiful are catchy, emotionally charged sketches celebrating the chaotic business of being human. Despite working in a more organic setting, Moby still finds time to pay tribute to heroes of synthesized mood music from yesteryear: Spiders is so derivative of the mid-’70s collaborations between Davie Bowie and Brian Eno that Moby should consider paying the pair royalties. The New Order cover Temptation, on the other hand, is a completely new song, less urgent and more repentant sexy melody that moves slow and deliberately into sweeping choruses. Pairing that with the moody lunges of Homeward Angel and you’ve got an album — and an artist — who has developed into something quite new.

In his occupation as musician extraordinaire, Moby has an all-inclusive recording studio (complete with various instruments) in his Manhattan apartment. He may do his work out of his home office, but as seen on Hotel, that doesn't make him any less prolific or creative. Hotel dances between warm pop melodies on one disc, and cerebral jams of ambient techno on another. It’s a mix that melds emotive melodies with a nearly perfect sense of song structure. What Moby has achieved with Hotel is a new kind of techno — an electronic pop with mass appeal. Hotel is Moby’s “comfortable in his own skin” release. For a guy who once put out an album called Everything Is Wrong, he currently sounds like everything is, if not ideal, at least noticeably upgraded.

“Hotel is a very song-oriented record and the ambient record… just makes a nice calming, quiet background,” Moby says. “I really think that if you were to listen to the ambient record once a week overall your health will improve and you’ll live longer it just calms you down. It’s like Xanax for the ears. I just want to reach people on an emotional and human level. I don’t necessarily want to make them happy... When I make a record I think of someone driving home from school or after work after a really hard day. That is who I make my music for.”

(18.04.2005)
Rate review4.65
Total votes - 157


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