Moby’s 15th studio album is a long, dark poem, that achieves a melancholy tone you might recall from his past work. More of the recent punk electronica sound gets put to the side as Moby returns to his relaxing classic sounds of synth vocals and electronic piano. However, the experience of this album could not be called easy listening, nor necessarily relaxing. The approach on “Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt” is much darker, and carries a subtle intensity.
Beginning with the first three tracks, “Mere Anarchy”, “The Waste of Suns”, and “Like a Motherless Child”, two of which were singles released prior, the intensity is introduced. The vocals and the story begin to unravel, with the collaborative writing/singing of Mindy Jones and Raquel Rodriguez. This dark precursor leaves a heavy curiosity, that perhaps continues all the way to the end of the record.
As the familiar sound of Moby starts to slip through a dusky atmosphere, appreciation for his beautiful blend of noise comes to rise. Tiny references of classic Moby’s ambient piano, auto-mixed vocality, and harmonious hums all make an appearance. Though, the serious poem extends on. At certain points, such as at the flipside of the record, and in tracks like “The Sorrow Tree”, the songwriting picks up to more of a surprising beat. The second half of the album is the better half, finishing with some strong vocal harmonies that are very lovely executions of Moby’s power.
While I am no expert on lyrical significance, or inspiration for the album, I can speak as an independent listener. Moby’s new release of tracks is solemn, with a clearly manifested weight to it. I am delighted to hear the sound he is known for even if carefully placed behind new design. The overall harmonies are almost hypnotic and will keep you drawn into the revolving intensity. The heavy yet gentle complex is audibly impressive, and I end the album entranced by Moby's mystery.
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