Moby is an interesting man to say the least. He started his career by building up his name DJing in clubs and soon after, released a techno album. Since then, however he has made records ranging in style from speed metal to ambient soundscapes to acoustic folk. His album bookelts are full of explanations of his views on how we should run the world, how we should treat each other and his choice to be a vegan. His music is an aspect of him that is looked at less than his personal life. His music, however, is equally interesting. With albums like his first release and "Play", Moby created classics, albums that were nearly flawless. With albums like "18" and "Animal Rights", he created records which are about as far from the description "classic" as an Ed Wood film. To put it simply, Moby is well described as the "ultimate hit or miss artist".
So where does "Hotel" fit into Moby's extensive catalogue? It's certainly not another "Play" or "18", though it does use inspiration from them. For starters, Moby has abandoned the gospel samples that he made regular use on his last two albums. While some of his best material was made inspired by these sounds, the ideas started to become stale on "18" and he has done well to abandon them as basis for an entire album. His new sound is a much poppier, radio friendly rock sound. He includes much of his ambient sound into his songs, but they are mainly just pop-rock songs. So is he any good at this new sound? Yes and no. While the ideas for this album mau have flowed at first, it seems that Moby's inspiration ran dry halfway through the creation of it. There are a couple of really good songs on the album. There is nothing, however, majorly terrible and nothing amazing, aside from the closing track "Forever", which is a great song. Really, there is no problem with "Hotel", it just isn't great and isn't even close to any of Moby's classics. It's not a shocker by any means.
On this album, Moby sings a lot more than on his previous two. However, in realising that he is not a singer, he employs Laura Dawn to do a lot of the vocal work. The instrument parts are quite basic and there is nothing amazing or anything stand out about the instrument work. The drums are extremely basic but the guitar do have some nice slide work now and then. Keyboard and electronic work is the main highlight.
So, is "Hotel" worth buying? The answer is not really, unless you get the two disc version. This version of the album comes with a bonus ambient disc. The material on this disc is among some of the best stuff Moby has ever created. To be honest, this disc should have been the main album, with the current album being the bonus disc. The ambient tracks rival the best ambient tracks of "Play" and "18", though they aren't better than "Play" because of the lack of diversity. This disc is worth paying the full price for though, even if the main disc just goes straight into the trash (and it's better than that). Because of this disc that boosts this album's rating, "Hotel" is a very worthwhile purchase.
- Fun new sound
- Amazing ambient disc
- Mixes rock and electronic quite well
- Nothing truly great
- Boring after a few listens
- The ambient disc should be the album
The whole ambient disc (But "Chord Sounds" in particular)