If you’re Moby, you have a string of musical oddities in your past. From covering Mission of Burma’s "That’s When I Reach For My Revolver," a poppy rock track, to the utter swimming beauty of "Porcelain" featured prominently in the movie The Beach, to the pure pop of "Southside" with Gwen Stefani, to the club albums that were Last Night, Moby has covered a lot, and I mean A LOT of musical ground.
Moby is Not Defined by Genre
Wait For Me shouldn’t be that big of a shock. Moby once again proves he can move deftly between genres and styles and present an entire idea. Play, his most successful album to date, maintained a polished “intro to electronica” feel throughout. Aforementioned Last Night was a synthpop knife aimed at the dancefloor jugular. In contrast, Wait For Me is all about slowing down and appreciating the beauty of the oddities of life. Musically, it’s a combination of the easy feeling of Play and the cinematic beauty of "God Moving Over the Face of the Waters" from the movie Heat. All the orchestrations on Wait For Me, particularly the title track and "Mistake" - the only track to feature his own vocals - are excellent. Besides Moby, Leela James is the only other vocalist featured on the album that I am familiar with. She breathily smokes her way through “Walk With Me,” a track that seems oddly lost between Moby and Bjork but settles somewhere around “grainy and compelling.”
Wait For Me to Go Analog
Moby recorded the album using all analog equipment that would have been popular in the 60s. This gives the tracks a grittier production feel than the slickness that accompanies other current releases. I’d say this method of recording works in his favor with this particular style. A lot of the tracks don’t involve heavy beats (many don’t use them at all) and so the instruments feel warmer and more inviting.
The downside to this musical venture from Moby is that many of the tracks are practically hookless. If you’re looking for a clear standout track from Wait For Me, you may be looking for a while. Lead single “Shot In the Back of the Head” is a meandering instrumental number with yawning guitars and listless twangs and cymbals. Follow-up “Pale Horses” is certainly a step up but again, not something I would keep on the radio if it came on. I’d change the station. The video, however, has received critical acclaim. This made me think of the track in a new light, and I could appreciate this as a track that supports a visual idea. This lack of commercial appeal (something that he noted was a direction he was aiming for with this record) will definitely hurt in terms of sales. They call it a hook for a reason, afterall.
Having absolutely fallen in love with “God Moving Over the Face of the Waters,” I really dig the simplistic beauty of Wait For Me. I feel I will be listening to “Mistake” for a while, as it is the closest in imitating that gorgeous 7 minutes. But overall? The album is appropriately titled. Wait For Me really doesn’t want to be left behind but chances are, you’ll be listening to something else not long after putting it in.
Release June 2009 on Mute/TruThoughts