Moby’s 10th LP is as pure and ethereal as the title suggests, which is great if you’re into that.
6.5 / 10
Everyone’s favorite bald ragtime-sampling electronic producer is back with a few friends for his tenth LP Innocents. Honestly, the only thing I really loved out of Moby’s discography was his breakthrough album Play which came out back in 1999. Moby started to go in a more ambient direction afterwards, which is how most of Innocents plays out.
For the most part, Innocents is a highly polished and clean sounding record. The guest vocals on the record are pretty par for the course for Moby in that they are mostly choruses that feel as antiquated as his sampling fare. Cold Specks on the tracks “A Case For Shame” and “Tell Me” function pretty much like Massive Attack singles from the mid ’90s. “The Perfect Life” is an interesting turn for Moby with Wayne Coyne singing a surreal sunshine-tinged mantra about living a perfect life to a lightweight baggy beat.
Near the midpoint of the album, Innocents has Moby doing what he does best which is adeptly utilizing ancient samples from the ragtime era. “The Last Day” featuring could pass for a formidable Play bonus track. “A Long Time” and “Saints” continue in that same direction and are the only tracks that are remotely danceable on the album.
The end of the album is where Innocents really overstays its welcome. Mark Lanegan for all intents and purposes should not be used for any electronic album; his voice is just too rough and exaggerated for it to work on a programmed beat. The last track “Dogs”, drags on for what seems like an eternity and makes Innocents difficult to revisit.
The tracks on Innocents are a little long in the tooth to be enjoyed in the context of a full album listen. This throws off the momentum Moby built up on “Everything That Rises”. Most of the songs on Innocents could easily end up on some socially conscious documentary about government corruption or global warming, but the songs don’t really extend beyond that purpose.