Moby

Innocents

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AllMusic Review by

Innocents is in line with Wait for Me (2009) and Destroyed (2011), Moby's most intimate and isolated albums. Following a move from New York to Los Angeles, he recorded almost all the instrumentation by himself. He made a considerable change by seeking vocals from an extended cast of relatively known singers -- including Mark Lanegan, the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, Cold Specks, Skylar Grey, and Damien Jurado -- rather than a handful of locals, and he had Mark "Spike" Stent mix it all. It's another downcast, occasionally grand-sounding set suited for solitary home listening. Not much moves the feet. "A Long Time" has an insistent, kind of dejected chug, while "Saints" sounds like Moby trying to recall how Massive Attack's "Unfinished Sympathy" goes. The emotional apex is "The Perfect Life," a neo-gospel number where Moby and Coyne are backed by a choir of ten voices. It would have provided a suitable end to the album, but instead, it's planted in the middle, surrounded by an ambient piano ballad and surprisingly understated showcase for Grey. Much of the album is rich with Moby's synthetic strings. This is the most liberal he's been with them -- they're just about everywhere -- but he thankfully restrains himself on "The Lonely Night," where Mark Lanegan's deep, weathered voice is relatively (rightfully) unornamented and dissipates amid soft drones after "Here come the lonely night…can't escape my mind." It helps make Innocents Moby's most powerful work in several years.

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