Everything is Wrong
Mute / Elektra Records
This third release from the prolific and ground-breaking electronica guru marks the final chapter in the early work of Moby. Raw and progressive, the delivery is enriched with flame and grit that is interlaced with beauty and heart-felt wanderings of musical composition. Moby is said to have likened the album as a “lifeboat” for many songs that he'd formed a relationship with during his formative years as an artist. Placing them all on the record made sure that nothing was wasted. Touching as many bases as one record can allow, Moby worked to establish himself as competent in many styles and genres which are scattered over this slightly erratic but fun and evocative composition of tracks.
The introductory piece begins with an arpeggio played with piano, the simple yet alluring pattern drawing in strings that make an appearance after the first few bars. Space-age twirls and whistles weave through the stereo amalgam to bring the track into full swing. Slow and melodic, a jostling up and down tune revolves around the backing formed by the wavelike motion of the piano. As the intensity fades to minimal, the last of the notes disappear into silence before a complete change of tone and pace.
Feeling So Real plunges the listener into a techno inspired drum and bass number which utilises two vocalists and plenty of beat surging loops. Fantastic energy penetrates the music as new sounds float in on an ocean of bass which swells and flows around quick and catchy drums. Thrust pushes everything forward as the track shifts from one part to another, a short interlude from rhythm allowing the progression to make a quick differential in the pace. As the track ends the same energy is brought forward and a layer of heavy metal guitars gives the sound a whole new dimension.
Moby lends his own voice to the third track, frantic power chords curl over thrashing drums which surf through a punk inspired beat. The guitar and techno combination sounds full-on, the room is electric with ferocious musical energy. Standard fare for heavy metal fans, the tempo and delivery creates something easily capable of finding its way into the halls of a greasy rock club. However, this multi-faceted album was not built to be adored by rockers alone but by people who appreciate all types of music.
As Every Time You Touch Me throws the piano riff back under the spotlight, a quick breakdown reveals digital beats and a thudding bass drum. More female vocal decorate the score with uplifting and love inspired lines. The tempo remains fast, and the music carries a dancing feel which has been consistent since the second track. A slight pause for a thirty second number in between this and the former track, dual vocalists and happy melodies resonate with a party atmosphere.
Strong piano melody resurfaces as the introduction to Bring Back My Happiness fills the airwaves. Frantic and sludgy notes begin to create a dynamic and moving sprint through difficult emotions. Mirrored by major key based piano chords that kick around the field in various colours, the song pushes on with the intense energy. As it ends, a distorted guitar and vocal bring the music down a dark ally and ask us to submit to what comes next.
Pounding drums and heavy deep chords bounce from shouted lyrics and feedback, Moby is back in heavy metal mode for What Love? Clear anger and frustration is felt in the masculine delivery which although almost incoherent, demonstrates a sense of powerlessness to the force of emotion and desire. The noisefest is quickly over and a funky bass melody runs up alongside to show its stuff.
Silken female notes sing past a muffled drumbeat while the strong and rich bass tones thunder along. Strings are added at a key moment, signalling the brightening of mood in which beauty and enchantment becomes apparent. Over layered vocals give a echo of feelings and sensation as the various parts of the composition adapt relevant harmonies and phrases. Stripping back the orchestra for a few bars, the bass is given the moment one more time before even that ceases to allow a moment of abstract clarity and atmosphere. Piece by piece, the layers are reinstated and the track builds to its former glory and this time with an extra swing in the step.
Into The Blue takes the firelight down a level to create a wonderful and haunting ballad style song sung by Mimi Goese. The track leans on string and drum while Mimi sings of dreamy and imaginative flight. A catchy bass line keeps the music buoyant while emotive and thoughtful vocals craft an air of mystique. This beautiful song sits among so any directions of energy, it could easily get lost in the album's multi-vitamin style capsule. It makes a refreshing appearance and takes us away from the yang side of things for a few moments.
A classic techno synthesiser plunges the notes down for Anthem, which follows and rekindles some of the lost fire. Fast drum and bass rhythms finalise the energy with a crash of cymbals and a key change in into high end melody. Strange samples of children playing along with an alarming twang synth mix in, creating a strange and dissociative feeling before another surge brings the melody and drums back into full motion. A layer of vocals with added effect sits atop the mix like a crown, summing up the intent before the track breaks down to make way for the next.
Slow moving piano and string form the following number, a short intermittent track which sets the scene for something slightly faster and more complex to come. God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters brings melody and emotion together in simple bouts of piano and string which lap over one another in echoing repetitions and loops. Glistening orchestrations slide over one another in ever growing revolutions of sound. A thump from a kettle drum adds one more element to this slow and magical piece, like the heart beat of a dragon the slow but timely pounding gives the faster and water inspired notations depth and mystery.
The final track, When It's Cold I'd Like To Die, invites Mimi Goese back to lend her tender tones once again. This slower and heart centred number calls upon melancholy and introspection, making an effort to end the album on a memorable note. It works, and as many of the tracks do not follow the traditional song structure, having something familiar to finish with makes for a lasting final chapter.
Need a gift? Find all kinds of them at the New York Times Store
Real Fans Buy The Music