Moby returns with an interesting and eclectic album that features guests including Wayne Coyne, Inyang Bassey and Cold Specks. Overall, Innocents is pleasing and easy to listen to, but there are some notable downers to get through.
First track ‘Everything That Rises’ is one of these Four minutes of music without lyrics makes you wonder why this was chosen as the opening track. It fails to really go anywhere or set any kind of scene. While it’s chilled out and typical Moby, it doesn’t grab you as an obvious album opener.
Second track ‘A Case for Shame’, featuring Cold Specks, has a lot more going on. From the haunting lyrics and vocals to the beautiful keys and strings parts, this track is a standout. It builds slowly and adds more layers as it goes. The way the arrangement was done on this track is perfect and cannot be faulted.
The rest of the album ambles on in a relaxing fashion, with no real notable standout tracks in the first half. ‘The Perfect Life’ featuring Wayne Coyne, is somewhat predictable. A big, repetitive chorus is all there really is to this track, and fails to show any real songwriting skill or ability from either Coyne or Moby.
It’s not until ‘Don’t Love Me’ featuring Inyang Bassey that we hear some energy. No one does chilled quite like Moby, but having something a bit upbeat amongst the ambience is a welcome change. The bass line in this song is hypnotic and reminiscent of Portishead – paired with Bassey’s vocals makes this song captivating.
‘The Lonely Night’ featuring Mark Lanegan is beautifully dark and stirring, and Lanegan’s vocals are deeply disturbing. But in a good way. The simple arrangement helps to amplify the depth of the lyrics and Lanegan’s gruff voice.
Moby has done well to create such a consistent album with so many different and diverse guests. All of them bring a different element and idea to work with – but not the extent that Innocents feels like a compilation. The chilled out and relaxing atmosphere this album creates is comforting, but can get frustrating if like me, you lack concentration. It would be the perfect to listen to after a big night out.
Innocents is available now from iTunes thanks to MUTE.