Moby
Destroyed


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
May 15th, 2011 | 28 replies | 7,135 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Broken down melodic electronic music for insomniacs and empty cities at 2am

After "Wait For Me", Moby went on to create an album that, in his own words, would sound like "broken down melodic electronic music for empty cities at 2am". “Destroyed”, a soundtrack to his insomnia, but also, the eponymous book of photos taken by him that comes out at the same time, was written on his last tour, during sleepless nights and captures the less exciting side of touring. Considering his last effort was a really solid, personal and intimate album, "Destroyed" comes off as a natural progression, mixing the predominantly downtempo ambient found on "Wait For Me" with the more upbeat elements.

The album starts off with the trademark ambient opener, 'The Broken Places', has all sorts of "broken down" bleepy synths and soundscapes. It grows slowly and manages to remain interesting throughout its 4 minutes. The album takes off with the second track, "Be The One", a great song that features a sustaining distorted guitar lead with Moby's vocoded vocals similar to the ones on "Whispering Wind". It's one of the most "rocky" tracks he has recorded lately.

'Sevastopol' and 'The Low Hum' are more electronic, the former being a techno track reminiscent to "Last Night"'s sound, but the overall atmosphere is less of a party hard one and visuals more of a 3am moment. The latter is, surprisingly for Moby, more of an upbeat modern trance track complete with vocals that could come off of a Dash Berlin record. Sounds fresh put up against what he has done recently.

The album slows the pace again with 'Rockets', first released on A Night In NYC compilation, it’s closer to Wait For Me in sound. The song creates a ‘spacey’ but intimate atmosphere and the sparse, emotional female vocals blend in quite well. Then comes 'The Day', the album's first single which is somewhat similar to David Bowie's sound, like 'Spiders' from "Hotel" is. Moby's depressing vocals fit the song's mood, however it's not him at his best and the chorus comes out a bit generic, so the whole song might wear off fast.

The powerful diva vocals make a comeback on "Destroyed" on 'The Right Thing', driving the song over a mellow, lounge-tinged pattern, and the result is a really nice, laid back listen. The next tune, 'After', is quite confusing, especially after these more quiet moments, since it has prominent, stomping drums and some synth layers that sound big for Moby's usual intimate approach. Moby is doubled by background vocoded vocals and together, the 2 voices sound more powerful and desperate.

Moby's goal for this album was to create a broken down melodic sound for empty cities at 2am. On the album's centerpiece, 'Victoria Lucas', his vision fits most. The track has layers of synths that have a rather cold and ‘impersonal’ sound and they mix with bleeping sounds and some humming that comes in more as an instrument, not standing out. Everything adds to the mood and the picture you get is you watching the city late at night/early in the morning, walking the streets when they are empty and quiet (The song’s video portrays the same thing). Another interesting surprise is 'Blue Moon', influenced by 80's new wave. It was possibly inspired by Erasure's 'Breathe', but the result is an awesome tune, not a rip off. Together with 'Victoria Lucas', these are highlights.

Towards the end of the album, the mood becomes more depressive with "Lie Down In Darkness", a bland, midtempo tune, which is accompanied by strings and repeated female vocals. The song’s arrangement sounds closer to tracks from 18. Then the album ends up into ambient territory, however 'Stella Maris' comes out as a really beautiful and intense moment. There's a minimal approach, only a synthesizer and epic vocals that again come in more as an instrument, to complement the music. It somehow feels like you are dreaming and you hear this tune in the background fading in and out occasionally.

The last three songs 'The Violent Bear It Away', 'Lacrimae' and 'When You Are Old' are all instrumental ambient, and while the former, is really interesting, becoming louder and more powerful, much like 'God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters' (it comes close), 'Lacrimae' could have been cut at around 4-5 minutes, since it loops for most of the 8 minutes. And last, the album’s closer, 'When You Are Old' is too short to take off and it ends abruptly. After listening to the whole record, one thing to compliment is the track list arrangement, Moby managing to put the songs in a great order, giving the album a nice, cohesive flow.

There are some negative aspects, however, in some parts Moby relying a bit on his strengths and also, he could have avoided 15 minutes of the usual pure ambient at the end, since there are already some throughout the album, and they are better. Another minor flaw is that a few songs end up too close to other albums’ sound (like 'Lie Down In Darkness' seems more at home on "18", and 'The Day' on "Hotel"), but they are solid tracks and don't really drag the album down.

Overall, on a personal note, “Destroyed” is really great, mostly because Moby strayed away from contemporary club music scene and went on for a more personal, melancholic sound that was always his strength. He took influences from both past and today’s electronic scene, to release not an immediate record, but one that becomes more and more interesting after a few listens.

Highlights – "Victoria Lucas", "The Low Hum", "Blue Moon", "Stella Maris", "The Right Thing"



Recent reviews by this author
Kaiser Chiefs Education, Education, Education & WarMotorpsycho Behind the Sun
The Ultra Electric Mega Galactic The Ultra Electric Mega GalacticKamchatka The Search Goes On
Buckethead Monument ValleyTruckfighters Universe
user ratings (61)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Zac McGee (4.5)
This album will keep you company as long as you do not demand it be kind to you; Destroyed is not so...


Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2011



3160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i know the album comes out on Monday but it has been available for streaming for a few days now. also, it's somewhere between 3.5 and 4 in my opinion, but i gave it a 4.

Digging: Chevelle - La Gargola

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2011



30298 Comments


mixing the downtempo ambient with the more upbeat electronica.


It's not like these are 2 different things


The album starts off with the trademark ambient opener, "The Broken Places", has all sorts of bleepy synths and soundscapes, like transmissions from outer space.


Awkward

when it's everything almost over.


Awkward

when they are empty and quiet, with no one around but yourself


Well generally empty would be you and no one else

an 80's influenced new wave track sung really nice by Moby.


Awkward

Then the album dwelves into ambient


I don't know how I feel about this review. Some of it is quite nicely written, but it just seems kinda flat, like you're just going through the motions. And while you do explain everything (in fact this is a pretty thinly veiled track-by-track) I walk away feeling like I haven't learned anything about this album (working under the impression I haven't heard this of course). Also, find a way to differentiate between song titles and album titles, try italicizing the album names and putting the song titles in single commas. There are parts of this review where you forget to put the album names in quotes as well, which could be confusing for people unfamiliar with Moby's past work

Moby strayed away a long time ago from contemporary club music


Last Night was all about the club scene





Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

Mordecai.
May 15th 2011



8256 Comments


awkward...

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2011



3160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks deviant, i tried to rewrite the sentences you mentioned there as awkward. i thought of Last Night as being less of a contemporary club music album and more of a mixture between his classic techno albums and newer stuff.
the only thing to find is a way to bold the albums

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2011



30298 Comments


The whole concept of Last Night was that it was meant to be a night out in the town, from the beginnings, to the clubs, to the 6am comedown

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
May 15th 2011



5612 Comments


Tbqh, the thing that discouraged me from reading your review is the abundance of paragraphs.

In the future, try to narrow the magnitude of the text, without losing losing in substance.

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

bigguytoo9
May 15th 2011



222 Comments


album sounds pretty decent a few songs in, ill give it a further listen today

bloc
May 15th 2011



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Listening to this now and loving it

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Panzerchrist
May 15th 2011



107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Having never listened to Moby before this, I found it to be pretty fantastic, even after a couple spins. Good review, as well, if a tad too long for my tastes.

bloc
May 15th 2011



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I am particularly happy with this because his last few albums have been terrible to average.

MassiveAttack
May 15th 2011



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I keep hearing good things about this, can't wait to see for myself.

Steoandnoodles
May 17th 2011



2832 Comments


Didn't like it. Thought it was pretty invaluable, especially considering the electronic music we've heard already this year. =/

MassiveAttack
May 28th 2011



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well Moby isn't a groundbreaking, experimental kind of guy. He is more mellow, dramatic type of ambient music, which really isn't that out there. He tends to be more comfortable with that and so far Destroyed seems that way.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 28th 2011



30298 Comments


Didn't like it. Thought it was pretty invaluable, especially considering the electronic music we've heard already this year. =/


yeah man, Burial released some stuff this year. Gotta factor that in while rating this

bloc
May 29th 2011



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First two songs are king

MassiveAttack
May 29th 2011



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

every time you comment bloc you make me want to re-spin this for a re-assessment lol.

bloc
May 29th 2011



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You've got to man, even I am shocked with how solid this album is.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 29th 2011



30298 Comments


It's not that good!

MassiveAttack
May 30th 2011



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I need to review this, I'm still split on the rating.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
May 30th 2011



30298 Comments


I'm still tossing up whether or not I can be bothered



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy