Thursday, Oct 02, 2014
Written by Shantanu David | Posted: February 15, 2014 3:20 am

david-m

Innocents
Moby
Little Idiot, Mute
Around Rs 800
**1/2

Whenever we think Moby (after the initial image of an irate sailor shaking a harpoon, and the musician is, in fact, a descendant of Herman Mellvile, the author of Moby Dick), we think Porcelain, the track that the American electronic musician created for Danny Boyle’s The Beach. Listening to it is like taking a plunge into a chilled, deep pool, the music enveloping you from the first beat.

Over his career, Moby has quietly created his own brand of electronica, a calm, zen-like space in a genre usually obsessed with the maximum beats per minute. But he is also accused of being repetitive with a musical oeuvre that sounds largely the same. Innocents largely affirms both these opinions of the producer-musician.

Moby’s 11th studio album has 12 tracks with a run time of just over an hour, more than enough time for him to scrawl his aural autograph. The album begins sedately with Everything That Rises, a stark synth track with an Oriental-like ping sound that punctuates the song. Following this is A Case for Shame, the album’s lead single and featuring singer Cold Specks, a slow meditative track layered with piano work, the high point being Speck’s vocals (and we have to hand it to Moby here, the man picks stellar voices to go with his tracks). The next two tracks, Almost Home (featuring singer Damien Jurado) and Going Wrong, are as down tempo (and honestly, kind of depressing) as the first songs, though Jurado’s falsetto provides a nice texture to the former, giving it a semblance of a lift, or a lilt if you will.

The party, or at least some sort of conviviality, begins with The Perfect Life, sung in a grand folk manner by The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, backed by a relatively rousing choir and some upbeat beats. Last Day, sung by Moby and Skylar Grey, harks back to his earlier space monk days. And then there’s Don’t Love Me, our favourite song in the album, an aural blues-y masterpiece made all themore spectacular by Inyang Bassey’s whiskey-and-cigar-smoke voice.

The next two songs, A Long Time and Saints, would probably be ambient space shuttle music, but that’s about it. The futuristic dystopian Tell Me, featuring Specks again, is woven from the same fabric.

The monotony is slightly broken by The Lonely Night, mostly because of Mark Langlean gravelly vocals, so reminiscent of Tom Waits. The Dogs, the album’s last song, is seemingly a synopsis of the album, featuring the piano work, pings and even tunes of the preceding tracks. Time to switch to new background music.

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