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Electronic - Released May 17, 1999 | Mute, a BMG Company

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Following a notorious flirtation with alternative rock, Moby returned to the electronic dance mainstream on the 1997 album I Like to Score. With 1999's Play, he made yet another leap back toward the electronica base that had passed him by during the mid-'90s. The first two tracks, "Honey" and "Find My Baby," weave short blues or gospel vocal samples around rather disinterested breakbeat techno. This version of blues-meets-electronica is undoubtedly intriguing to the all-important NPR crowd, but it is more than just a bit gimmicky to any techno fans who know their Carl Craig from Carl Cox. Fortunately, Moby redeems himself in a big way over the rest of the album with a spate of tracks that return him to the evocative, melancholy techno that's been a specialty since his early days. The tinkly piano line and warped string samples on "Porcelain" frame a meaningful, devastatingly understated vocal from the man himself, while "South Side" is just another pop song by someone who shouldn't be singing -- that is, until the transcendent chorus redeems everything. Surprisingly, many of Moby's vocal tracks are highlights; he has an unerring sense of how to frame his fragile vocals with sympathetic productions. Occasionally, the similarities to contemporary dance superstars like Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers are just a bit too close for comfort, as on the stale big-beat anthem "Bodyrock." Still, Moby shows himself back in the groove after a long hiatus, balancing his sublime early sound with the breakbeat techno evolution of the '90s. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Following a notorious flirtation with alternative rock, Moby returned to the electronic dance mainstream on the 1997 album I Like to Score. With 1999's Play, he made yet another leap back toward the electronica base that had passed him by during the mid-'90s. The first two tracks, "Honey" and "Find My Baby," weave short blues or gospel vocal samples around rather disinterested breakbeat techno. This version of blues-meets-electronica is undoubtedly intriguing to the all-important NPR crowd, but it is more than just a bit gimmicky to any techno fans who know their Carl Craig from Carl Cox. Fortunately, Moby redeems himself in a big way over the rest of the album with a spate of tracks that return him to the evocative, melancholy techno that's been a specialty since his early days. The tinkly piano line and warped string samples on "Porcelain" frame a meaningful, devastatingly understated vocal from the man himself, while "South Side" is just another pop song by someone who shouldn't be singing -- that is, until the transcendent chorus redeems everything. Surprisingly, many of Moby's vocal tracks are highlights; he has an unerring sense of how to frame his fragile vocals with sympathetic productions. Occasionally, the similarities to contemporary dance superstars like Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers are just a bit too close for comfort, as on the stale big-beat anthem "Bodyrock." Still, Moby shows himself back in the groove after a long hiatus, balancing his sublime early sound with the breakbeat techno evolution of the '90s. © John Bush /TiVo
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Electronic - Released May 28, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Moving from punk to symphonic music, even if it takes thirty years, isn’t something just anyone can do. Especially if, along the way, you zig-zag between techno, house, rock, ambient and even punk revival (with the album Animal Rights in 1997).  In 2021, Moby is still twisting and turning to avoid any and all labels that people might try to stick on him. The man who has become the image of the stereotypical "bedroom producer" is once again taking the world by storm with this collaborative album of covers featuring the likes of Gregory Porter, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Mark Lanegan, Víkingur Ólafsson and the Budapest Art Orchestra. What's more, this album is being released with the most prestigious of classical music labels: Deutsche Grammophon.  It all started in 2018, when Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel took Moby to see the Los Angeles Philharmonic. This concert took him back to his childhood days, when he was raised on classical music. It reminded him of the ability that orchestras have of expressing nuance, depth, and emotions in much greater detail than a pop song can. And we have to pay tribute to the talent of the Budapest Art Orchestra, which successfully reframes Moby's radio hits. Natural Blues takes on an unsuspected breadth, thanks to the ensemble's backing vocals and Gregory Porter's soulful voice. Jim James' contribution renders Porcelain more poignant than ever.On Go, the Hungarian string section does most of the work, lending the song an even more epic quality. For the soaring, serene rendition of Heroes, a tribute to his personal hero David Bowie, Moby invites his favourite singing partner, Mindy Jones, with whom he has worked on Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt and Innocent.  The Lonely Night also deserves special mention. The deep and comforting timbre of Kris Kristofferson’s voice makes this a perfect song for evenings by the fireside. It is just one more stylistic innovation in an album that's stuffed full of them. Despite the star-studded cast and the emotional richness of the material, this track sees Moby enjoying the simple things. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released June 14, 2004 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released December 24, 2020 | mobyambient

Having been wired up to ambient music since his beginnings (his second album, in 1993, was titled Ambient), Moby is returning to the genre as his career turns 30 years old, taking advantage of the quarantine of spring 2020 to embark on a concept album. For this well-named self-titled album, the American musician set himself three rules. First that all the music had to be improvised and unpublished. Secondly, that he forbade editing the parts that he had already recorded and every part of the process, from recording to mixing to listening, had to be “relaxing”. Because Moby's intention is to cure his fans of the stress of 2020 and offer them an opportunity to escape the ambient anxiety (no bad pun intended). He has more or less succeeded with these ten tracks which average about ten minutes each, carried by a very chill piano and soothing synths, and creating the image of a musician finally at peace, removed from his anti-Trump activism of the last four years, a somewhat chaotic approach that had ended up becoming toxic for him and his music. © Smaël Bouaici/Qobuz
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Electronic - Released July 4, 2011 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released June 29, 2009 | Because Music

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Pop - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

For some it was the pinnacle of his career, for others one of a continued string of triumphs (others doubtless cared not at all, thinking somehow that synth and dancebeats equalled musical insincerity, but such is life). Regardless of how one takes it, Everything Is Wrong shows Moby at a definite high point, and if some tracks are much more memorable and involved than others, those successes alone justify the attention and hype he received in his earliest days. Even more noteworthy is that for all that the album is a definite product of time and place, namely 1994-1995, it stands up to further listens for all the further changes in dance since. Having already made his mark with tracks like "Go," "Next Is the E," and "Move," on Everything Is Wrong Moby attempted to balance out the creation of an album in a complete, single-unit sense with his knack for immediately catchy singles. On the latter point he succeeds perfectly, with the frenetic, jungle-inspired anthemic diva showcase "Feeling So Real" (punctuated just so with English-inspired MC breaks) and the giddily sweet pop-minded house of "Everytime You Touch Me" utterly irresistible. Hints of future changes crop up with the speed metal-via-Ministry reworking of Move EP's "All That I Need Is to Be Loved," but the similarly minded blues/thrash of "What Love" forecasts the ham-handed slogs of Animal Rights all too well. Meanwhile, the string-touched "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" is a self-consciously beautiful, cinematic meditation on spiritual power that in lesser hands might be cheese but comes across here as truly affecting. If there's an ace in the hole, it's the inspired recruiting of former Hugo Largo vocalist Mimi Goese, who had spent the early '90s well out of the public eye. Her turns on "Into the Blue" and especially the haunting, evocative album-closer "When It's Cold I'd Like to Die" bring out in the best in both musicians. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Electronic - Released March 14, 2005 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released February 26, 2016 | Little Idiot

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Electronic - Released March 15, 2019 | Little Idiot

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Electronic - Released May 15, 2020 | Little Idiot

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Electronic - Released March 31, 2008 | Mute, a BMG Company

On Last Night, Moby is as blissfully out of touch with modern club music as he is current. As he explains (of course) in the album's liner notes, he has been in the thick of New York City club culture since the early '80s, and he takes the opportunity here to pay tribute to a number of dance music strains that have fallen in and out of fashion -- in a couple cases, they've recently fallen back into fashion -- including some angles he hasn't taken in well over a decade. The sturdiest, most appealing tracks tend to be where Moby breaks out with some highly energized combination of rollicking pianos, stabbing keyboards, and random divas, mixing and matching rave, Hi-NRG, and disco: "Everyday It's 1989," "Stars," and "Disco Lies" (featuring a vocalist who is nearly a dead ringer for a young Taylor Dayne) would've had no place on any of the last five Moby albums. What is long maligned and what is trendy sometimes occurs simultaneously, as on "I Love to Move in Here" (featuring Grandmaster Caz), a mid-tempo house track that can be sub-categorized as both hip-house (inciting wicked flashbacks for most haters of either component) and Balearic (as it causes that loosey-goosey, anesthetized-but-still-beaming sensation, prevalent in several of the hippest dance tracks released during 2007 and 2008). The poorly timed, not-so-appealing moments -- "257.zero," "Alice" -- with their distant transmission spoken bits and droning raps, might sound in step whenever the Soul Jazz label gets around to releasing rarity compilations with contents resembling Astralwerks' late-'90s compilations for MTV's Amp program. The disc's latter 20 minutes, containing contemplative, string-laden tracks, would be as suited for the Pure Moods series (i.e., beside Yanni, Dave Koz) as past tracks "Porcelain" and "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters." A good number of Moby fans who began to follow the producer's moves well before Play will be inclined to think of Last Night as the best Moby album since Everything Is Wrong. That the album involves several unself-conscious, rush-inducing tracks (rather than the once-expected token track or two) is enough for that opinion to have validity. Ditto the sensible and drastic reduction of Moby's own vocals. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Electronic - Released May 28, 2021 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Looking back on 30 years as one of America's most prominent electronic musicians, Moby made a surprise move to reimagine classics from his lengthy catalog as orchestral and acoustic reworkings. Inspired by a 2018 performance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, he delivered Reprise, a triumphant career retrospective that breathes new life into familiar hits and deep cuts. Reaching all the way back to his 1992 debut, Moby amplifies his percussion-heavy breakthrough single "Go" into a dramatic tribal raver, while Everything Is Wrong's cosmic "God Moving Over the Face of the Water" expands even further with the grandiose backing of Icelandic pianist Vikingur Ólafsson. The best of the instrumentals on Reprise, however, is the de facto overture "Everloving," whose cinematic sweep is absolutely breathtaking. In fact, this and the other tracks selected from his 1999 magnum opus Play are the most effective transformations here, allowing that album's soul- and gospel-heavy sampling to organically draw out the emotion and humanity on this project. The mournful "Natural Blues" is a showstopper, elevating the original's melancholy to stirring effect as Gregory Porter and Amythyst Kiah lament, "Oh Lordy, my trouble's so hard." The plaintive reflections on "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad" benefit from the soulful vocals of Apollo Jane, Deitrick Haddon, and gospel choir the Samples, descending into pain before hope shines a light with the inspirational chorus. And while the ethereal "Porcelain" merges a wounded duet between Moby and My Morning Jacket's Jim James, the true heft is found in the expansive orchestral arrangement, which pulls aside the veil to reveal a grandeur at which the original only hinted. These varying degrees of pain and catharsis are at the heart of Reprise, manifesting in a vulnerable reworking of David Bowie's "Heroes," a version that Moby notes he played with his late friend in 2001, and 18's dirge-like "Extreme Ways." Emotional rock bottom is reached on the Innocents cut "The Lonely Night," wherein a worn-out Mark Lanegan and Kris Kristofferson face mortality in a way that echoes Johnny Cash's twilight take on Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." Through the tears and heartache, Moby offers a few uplifting reworkings, namely the epic "We Are All Made of Stars" -- which he styled as a classic rock opera in scope and progression -- and "Lift Me Up," which transforms the transcendent original with a cacophonous chorus of voices, horn blasts, and galloping percussion. By toning down the euphoric dancefloor bliss of these often-repetitive techno anthems, the songs breathe and move in ways like never before. Reprise is a bold late-career gem that legitimizes Moby's brand of electronic music by extracting the existing emotions that always dwelled beneath the digital soundscapes, revealing a heart that was always there but is now on full glorious display. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Electronic - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released July 27, 1992 | Little Idiot

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Pop - Released November 6, 2015 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released September 3, 2007 | Mute, a BMG Company

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Electronic - Released August 17, 1993 | Little Idiot

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Electronic - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Considering that Moby's music is most effective in small doses, perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the compilation I Like to Score is a strong record. However, it does come as a surprise, since Moby's music usually sounds too insular for the kind of shifting, provocative atmospherics needed for effective film music. Here, on this collection of cinematic instrumental work, Moby demonstrates that he can capture the mood and feeling of a film while retaining his musical identity. Nothing here is particularly complex, and not all of it works -- his reworking of John Barry's "James Bond Theme" sounds like a major studio's idea of what the kids are listening to these days -- but by and large, I Like to Score is every bit as effective as Moby's official releases. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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