Moby
Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt


4.0
excellent

Review

by insomniac15 STAFF
March 4th, 2018 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A glimpse of the world Moby envisioned, but this time after the apocalypse...

In the past few years, Moby graced us with multiple albums that went from raucous, ‘80s-inspired synth rock/punk to hours of ambient drones. It was really nice to see him break from the placid formulas found on Innocents, especially at a time when he seemed stuck in a rut. The man returned just as fast and unexpectedly to familiar territory on Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt, where the predominantly downtempo material got enhanced by trip hop stylings.

Moby always sought solace in the most clinical of settings and magnified less enticing emotions such as loneliness, sadness or regret, all covered up in a cloud of anxiety and paranoia. Still, with the disco beats of his earlier material, you could easily pass through them. Now that the music got closer in tone to the lyrical themes, it’s become like a dense fog where you either lose yourself in or suffocate. The man concentrated lately on the environmental, political & social issues the planet is facing, lashing out on the Void Pacific Choir LPs. On Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt we receive the opposite: things got worse, we lost control, so we get the perspective of a post-apocalyptic scenario. The Earth is more or less a blank wasteland, but one that could be ready to start life anew. There are hopeful moments hidden, still we have to face the consequences of our actions. Songs like ‘Mere Anarchy’, ‘Welcome to Hard Times’ or ‘Falling Rain and Light’ share this impending disaster vibe. The first two are led by paranoid synth leads, brooding over interesting drum patterns and deep bass lines. Moby shyly sings, often getting lost in the thick arrangements, but he leaves the powerful notes to Julie Mintz, Mindy Jones, Raquel Rodriguez and Apollo Jane. Meanwhile, ‘Falling Rain and Light’ focuses on melancholic piano chords, vocoded verses, as well as various embellishing, glitchy sound scapes. What I like is that he spent more time programming the drums than usual. It really makes a difference not using the same tired beats all the time.

Besides the future concerning issues, there’s also an inner battle surfacing on the record. In these hard times, some people turn towards a higher power that may or may not help us, while others seek the embrace of their loved ones. Moby presents dark scenarios regarding both, however, there’s a lot open to interpretation. ‘The Ceremony of Innocence’ purposely harkens back to Innocents and the idea of a post-apocalyptic cult worshiping a certain divine presence. The hypnotic piano and holistic strings create a huge sound, while answers are asked in the lyrics. Moreover, ‘The Middle Is Gone’ and ‘A Dark Cloud Is Coming’ bring forth this idea of repentance whether personal or collective. The lounge piano of the former, complete with reverse reverbed guitars and visceral synths are perfect for the atmosphere he wishes to create. The latter’s smooth rhythm and cool bass accents are contrasting the message, as if the only thing you can do at the moment is just smoke a cigarette in the rocking chair and wait for the world to end. On the other hand, the trademark gospel influences form the basis of ‘Like a Motherless Child’, which is a reimagined version of a traditional tune, and ‘The Wild Darkness’, that uses a choir to suppress Moby’s worried verses. The two ditties are a nod to his Play and 18 eras, respectively. Nevertheless, they belong to EWBaNH in sound and themes.

In the end, this LP ultimately seeks to warn people about the environmental and social disasters knocking at our door. He’s been ranting about Trump and several other subjects on all platforms and although you might be aware of everything, you’d be surprised how many people are brainwashed or clueless regarding everything. Plus, everything the man says is justified, even though his drastic tone is appalling to some. Despite the heavy messages, Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt shares a lot of beautiful moments, during which you can choose not to pay attention to the details mentioned above. You can just let the notes softly play, while you can drift alongside them. This is one of Moby’s most cohesive efforts, so if you don’t dig this side of his musical output or look for a wild diversity, you’d be a bit disappointed. Other than this, the record flows surprisingly nice, unveiling a lot of strong material.




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user ratings (52)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2018


4594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Curious to hear what opinion people have on this album. I think it's one of his most cohesive and a nice change from the punk-ish Void Pacific Choir LPs.



Here is the playlist on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81wBu2RzVsI&list=PLpllqzgq8wPYAVRHIoC3vzo4Mxtm3XUar



Digging: Conan - Existential Void Guardian

Gyromania
March 4th 2018


25798 Comments


Damn dude, feels like just yesterday I was reading your review for These Systems Are Failing. Had no idea new moby was coming out, will check. Pretty sure we're two of a handful of people that enjoy his stuff post-Play lol

Eons
March 4th 2018


1788 Comments


Although this guy is insufferable, he makes great music. I've always liked most of his records. Also, there's something endearing about him like going against the world, ya know. Moby against all those terrible carnivores and corrupt politicians.
Even if it's bullshit, it's fun to watch.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2018


4594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Gyromania - He's on a roll lately. I'm running out of things to say lol



@Eons - Yeah, he's pretty drastic about his views. I agree with the environmental stuff he's signaling about and most of his anti-Republican rants. Still, I admire the fact he's donating all the profits from this album's sales to animal rights foundations.

deathschool
March 4th 2018


22575 Comments


Might check just for the title.

Toad
March 4th 2018


1981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this one's pretty nice



Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 4th 2018


40581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

best Moby in years, this is fantastic

Digging: Alkaline Trio - Is This Thing Cursed?

bloc
March 5th 2018


51808 Comments


Looking forward to hearing this while enjoying a nice burger

Digging: Blahzay Blahzay - Blah Blah Blah

DDDeftoneDDD
March 5th 2018


2028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't know moby by the albums...i just feel he's always ave been with us hasn't he? Checking this now.

Digging: Damien Jurado - The Horizon Just Laughed

DDDeftoneDDD
March 5th 2018


2028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gooood...apocalyptic it is...track 5 looks like a memorial to Underworld's Born Slippy (Trainspotting) somehow...and it feels good. Good Review!



I'm also getting really good Simon Posford's (Shpongle, Younger Brother) vibes - in Falling Rain and Light an The Waste of Suns f.e.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2018


4594 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, there are many influences here. If you like this one, listen to Destroyed or Wait For Me. Both are really good.

DDDeftoneDDD
March 5th 2018


2028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Will do. props!

toocool4pos
March 5th 2018


234 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love the dark, brooding ambiance this album brings. Listened to it all the way through a couple times so far and I'm definitely enjoying it.

DoofusWainwright
March 5th 2018


20003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was the most entirely neutral listen of the year for me

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2018


40581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

he's on a bit of a roll, it's a slight shame that More Fast Songs was a bit of a rehash/anticlimax, considering it's now effectively the apocalypse part of an apocalyptic trilogy. still, Systems are Failing and this are his best in a decade

DoofusWainwright
March 5th 2018


20003 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I’m actually intrigued with this as he clearly has a new breed of fans of his latter career work...I’ll give this another go. Hey, maybe ‘nondescript’ is in fact just ‘subtle’.

Toad
March 5th 2018


1981 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i really like the over-the-top major key climaxes on this record. very shiny

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2018


40581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

yep I love the general sound of this record, the trippy late night instrumentals colliding with those huge gospel melodies

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2018


8640 Comments


gospel melodies, eh?

I really liked Innocents (last album by him I listened to), is this similar, Row?

Digging: Mark Stewart And The Maffia - Learning To Cope With Cowardice

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2018


40581 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

haven't heard Innocents to be honest you'd have to ask someone else



this is very soft spoken word-y exploding into female choruses rapturously. a bit like The Sky is Broken meets When It's Cold I'd Like to Die. If that helps



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