Moby’s All Visible Objects fails to live up to the producer’s rich past
Moby has not had an easy time recently. His career seems to have already peeked – back in the 90s – when the electronica track ‘Go’ reached the coveted No.10 spot in the UK’s official chart. Since then Moby has released two memoirs, in 2016 and 2019, and seen a fair amount of backlash. The Guardian has even gone on to publish an account of the ‘worst moments’ in his 2019 work, Then It Fell Apart. And it’s really no surprise considering the UK-based producer feigned a relationship with a young Natalie Portman – which she entirely discredits – forcing Moby to cancel his book tour.
After taking some time away from the public eye, Moby has returned with his 17th studio album, All Visible Objects. One might expect something innovative and exciting considering this a man with three decades worth of experience under his belt, but, I’m sorry to say, the 11 tracks are wholly underwhelming.
All Visible Objects is wound-up in nostalgia and sentiment. The opening tracks to the album scream of euphoria rave music from the late-90s/early-2000s, and lack anything which will grip the listener. ‘One Last Time’ is entirely over-the-top with its mock-angelic background cries drawing away from the drumbeat. Moreover, I wouldn’t begrudge anyone for confusing several of the tracks – especially ‘My Only Love’ and ‘Rise up in Love’, which are disconcertingly similar in sound and content.
Moby’s activist persona comes through on the excessive EDM track ‘Power is Taken’, featuring D. H. Peligro, of The Dead Kennedys-fame, impelling the listener that they ‘must fight against the oppressors. Power is not shared, power is taken.’ While I’m sure Moby’s intentions were good in this track, it’s overwhelming cheesy. The background becomes an obnoxious and hectic frenzy of sirens and orchestral synths as if this is a track straight out of a prison-break scene from a B-list movie.
I wish there was a silver lining here. ‘Morningside’ isn’t a bad track – but I guess that isn’t a compliment to Moby’s effort either. The repetitive underlying drum beat, coupled with a reverberated and distant shout create an upbeat track but, much like the majority of this album, there is nothing inherently novel about this.
Moby’s All Visible Objects is, to be frank, lacklustre. An incredibly disappointing album from a man who has such a rich history in the electronic music scene, and who isn’t afraid of sharing his opinions on animal rights or social issues. I think the real takeaway from this is, if you want to immerse yourself in the musical world of Moby, go and listen to 1999’s Play again.