Wait for Me
First Appeared in The Music Box, November 2009, Volume 16, #11
Written by John Metzger
Fri November 20, 2009, 06:30 AM CST
Without a doubt, Moby knew what he was doing when he dipped his feet into the gospel-blues waters that fueled his breakthrough endeavor Play. Nevertheless, even he likely wasnít prepared for the enormous amount of attention that the album ultimately received. Blinded by the bright illumination of the spotlight into which he had been thrust, Moby subsequently found it difficult to navigate a course through his newfound stardom. He wandered for a time, lost and adrift, enjoying the high life while crafting unsatisfying efforts like 18 and Hotel. Clearly, he was trying to feed the expectations of the capitalist machine, but his work paid a steep price as it became increasingly forced and formulaic.
In recent years, however, Mobyís creativity has shown signs of reawakening. In 2008, he managed to build a bridge to his past by channeling his experiences into the conceptual constructs of Last Night. The outing paid tribute to his life in the club scene, and the way in which he established moods and used them to frame his story spoke to a level of maturity he hadnít previously shown. If there are any lingering doubts that Moby is back in the game, his latest set Wait for Me ought to erase them. Throughout the endeavor, he returns to the stylistic fusions that he explored on Play. This time, though, he laces his work with a loosely knit storyline about love and loneliness.
Moby has always been quite good at interweaving sounds and grooves to create aural portraits that capture the essence of human emotion. More recently, he has learned how to bind these disparate snapshots together to form a cohesive song cycle. With a renewed sense of focus, Moby turns Wait for Me into a neatly paced set that alternates between instrumental passages and well-crafted pop tunes. Because of the albumís narrative thread, his lush yet intimate arrangements float past in an elegantly cinematic fashion as he evokes a sequence of intertwined moods that begin with Play and end somewhere else entirely.
Mistake is the only track on Wait for Me that Moby sings himself. By drawing upon David Bowieís output, he adopts a comfortable style that suits him well. Considering itís the only rock tune on the endeavor, it is something of an anomaly. The rest of Wait for Me is filled with ambient material that embraces tones that are sad and somber. To deliver the rest of his lyrics, Moby employed a team of vocalists who leant a sweetly soulful charge to the affair.
Unlike many of Mobyís efforts, though, the music on Wait for Me refuses to drift into the background. Instead, it floats by with a sense of purpose. Throughout the endeavor, Moby keenly folds an array of acoustic and electronic sounds together, layering them with the utmost precision to capture the shattered hopes and broken dreams that emanate from an unfruitful search for love. In many ways, Wait for Me is the second act to the storyline he began charting on Last Night. As Wait for Me nears its conclusion, it conjures the creeping isolation that slips like dusk-to-dark around a bruised and battered heart. Thereís nothing here that Moby hasnít done before, but rarely has his focus been this sharp over the course of an entire album.
Of Further Interest...
Wait for Me is available from
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2009 The Music Box