Moby: Animal Rights

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Moby

Album: Animal Rights
Label: Elektra

Say what you want about Moby's new Animal Rights, but at least he didn't lazily remake his 1995 breakthrough album, Everything Is Wrong: While that record was stuffed with celebratory/melancholy dance tracks that somehow gave a heart and soul to electronic sounds, much of Animal Rights instead tries to stake Moby's claim as an angst-ridden rock star. Most of the album's first 10 or 12 tracks are little more than roaring, boring electro-hardcore, songs on which the restless Moby rants and growls and fumes about nothing particularly important. On Everything Is Wrong, Moby usually handed vocal duties over to superior vocalists, lending the album much of its soaring soul. Here, it's Moby or no one, and his unskilled imitations of Trent Reznor ("Heavy Flow," "Face It") and David Bowie ("Say It's All Mine") don't do justice to the album's instrumental tracks, most of which are relegated to the back end of the album. Fortunately, it's the unforgettable instrumentals—particularly the 11-minute "Alone," as well as the stunning, violin-based "Now I Let It Go" and "Love Song For My Mom"—that save Animal Rights from its self-imposed scrap heap: They remind listeners that when he wants to be, Moby is a remarkably gifted craftsman. It's just too bad that so much of the filler-laden 73-minute album is so decidedly dreadful.

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