Moby
These Systems Are Failing


4.0
excellent

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
October 16th, 2016 | 55 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The protest rave…

At the end of the ‘00s, Moby turned his back on the mainstream, opting instead for a low key profile that offered him the liberty to do what he wanted. Although the huge success of Play, 18 and even Hotel brought him a vast number of fans, headlining all the major festivals in the world, there were just as many who started criticizing him. His ubiquity was too much for some and soon, those looked for just about anything to complain. Whether it was the music or beliefs of any kind, a trend to pick on him began. As soon as he went independent, the output changed too. Gone were the rock leanings or bombastic retro dance parties, leaving room for a more reflective, ambient side. Not worried about what would happen next, the LPs benefited of a newfound consistency, but they also placed him into a comfort zone that stalled any progress. When the placid Innocents hit the shelves, many of his followers were hoping for a rejuvenation of sorts.

Enter These Systems Are Failing, an album very few would have seen it coming at this stage. Moby has become very active on the social media platforms, advocating for environmental safety and pushing against animal slaughter or the Republican party (see his ongoing anti-Trump “campaign”). He always included essays on albums and wrote several journal entries on these topics, yet troubled times ask for harder attempts. Consequently, all these issues had a profound influence on his creativity. Taking the new wave/post-punk aesthetics of New Order & The Cure along with his own punk background (Vatican Commandos and the Animal Rights album which turned 20 this year), the man released one of the most potent records of his career. Clocking in at around 35 minutes, this is a straightforward manifesto meant to raise awareness among the listeners. From start to finish, we receive an intense ride full of pummeling beats, old school synths, gang vocals and a wash of heavily processed guitars. ‘Are You Lost in the World Like Me?’ acts as the catchy, vibrant centerpiece that successfully blends techno and punk rock. His brittle voice kicks in full force, while the instrumental makes you jump, especially during the chorus. This tune, along with the raving opener, ‘Hey! Hey!’, borrow the trance-inducing arrangements present on his first two records, creating a euphoric ride (a feature missing from most of his post-Everything Is Wrong catalog).

Nevertheless, Moby occasionally drives harder into punk territory for a more powerful experience. ‘Break. Doubt’ or ‘Erupt & Matter’ are industrial sing-alongs which you would more likely hear on a Front Line Assembly LP (minus the cyborg vocals and metallic chugs). The use of tribal percussion on the latter, as well as ethereal key pads and sequencers, creates a grandiose atmosphere where you can dance while protesting. Meanwhile, the blunt riffs and repetitive shouts build up tension, especially on ‘The Light Is Clear in My Eyes’, whose coda is one of the heaviest moments on These Systems Are Failing. Sharp guitars add to the overall vibe, yet the overdriven chords kick down the door. As a conclusion to this hyperactive LP, he fittingly chose to add ‘And It Hurts’, a short, lo-fi ditty boasting an industrial punk edge, complete with muffled vocals. It really brings everything to a succinct end, summing very well the entire journey in the process. Such a reinvention is very welcomed, since it shows us there’s more we can expect from him in the upcoming years, not just a nice, comfortable slumber.

Stripped of all excess, These Systems Are Failing delivers like very few others do in Moby’s discography. It will no doubt divide a part of his fan base like Animal Rights did, however, it won’t be as shocking as in 1996. Many are accustomed now with his antics and as that album has become an unsung classic for some, the former will surely receive its praise over time. For those who have mixed feelings about the new LP, it will sink in after a while, just give it a chance.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2016


4155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Unexpectedly great!



'Break.Doubt' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrIhBdqcA5A

'Hey! Hey!' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSO8hv4aUkE

'Are You Lost in the World Like Me?' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ8HKrLTqq8

'Don't Leave Me' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtL3Jsl2ieE

'A Simple Love' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2guWg9C-YGE

'Erupt + Matter' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6eM6IIT17s

'I Wait For You' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS1ul4266Ow

'And It Hurts' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-hVE_9W0bw

'The Light Is Clear in My Eyes' - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsXbZrLahSs

FullOfSounds
October 16th 2016


12589 Comments


I'm interested

Digging: Jesca Hoop - Memories Are Now

danielcardoso
October 16th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

wow is it out already? cool! have to spin.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2016


4155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, it came out on Friday. It's streaming on Youtube :D

danielcardoso
October 16th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice, gonna hear in just a bit actually. sounds, play is an essential album.

danielcardoso
October 16th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

gonna request a feature, moby needs more exposure here. his recent stuff has been a bit hit or miss for me tho, hope this one is as good as you say dude :]

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2016


5774 Comments


you don't need to request a feature for a staff review

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2016


4155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I didn't expect it to be so entertaining TBH. The short length also helps. If you liked the singles off the album, then it's all good.

Sinternet
October 16th 2016


11862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so hyped for this gonna listen later

Digging: Beat Connection - The Palace Garden

LordePots
October 16th 2016


35866 Comments


"moby needs more exposure"

lol

Digging: Jamila Woods - HEAVN

Sinternet
October 16th 2016


11862 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Are You Lost In The World Like Me? is a fucking jam

FullOfSounds
October 16th 2016


12589 Comments


listening to this soon

danielcardoso
October 16th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

needs more exposure here pots, if you glance at his profile his highest rated album only has ~500 ratings.

LordePots
October 16th 2016


35866 Comments


lol

LordePots
October 16th 2016


35866 Comments


only 500 ratings

danielcardoso
October 16th 2016


10464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yea i didn't word it properly. 500 is obviously pretty respectable, but still you'd expect him to have at least one album with a little bit more ratings considering how prominent he was in the late 90s.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2016


5774 Comments


he's had his heyday tbh

LordePots
October 16th 2016


35866 Comments


yeah

bloc
October 16th 2016


39613 Comments


Really looking forward to this one

Digging: Madonna - Ray of Light

Rowan5215
Contributing Reviewer
October 16th 2016


37873 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The Light is Clear in my Eyes is definitely the best on this but Erupt and Matter is a jam too



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