A veteran of electronic music, Moby – aka Richard Melville Hall – has just released his 17th studio album, All Visible Objects.
Aside from on euphoric deep-house track One Last Time and Forever, Moby’s own voice barely features, but makes way for others. A cover of Roxy Music’s My Only Love soars with Mindy Jones over sweeping strings and piano. On Refuge, we hear Jamaican dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson’s proclaim in dulcet tones, “To us who were of necessary birth, for the earth’s hard and thankless toil, silence has no meaning” over a 90s rave throwback beat.
Power Is Taken brings with it Dead Kennedys drummer DH Peligro, hypnotically repeating the mantra, “power is not shared, power is taken” and “we who hate oppression must fight against the oppressors” amidst sirens and synths galore. With Too Much Change, a freewheeling ten-minute number, LA singer Apollo Jane emotively questions: “What are we supposed to feel? What are we supposed to do? There is too much change”. The ending title track All Visible Objects slides out on thoughtful piano keys over a gently pulsating beat.
There’s nothing overwhelming or ground-breaking here. The artist is renowned for his activism and there are moments of calling out injustice (indeed, proceeds from sales are being donated to a plethora of charities for animal and human rights) but the nods to politics perhaps feel a little superficial. There’s also little evidence of the debauchery and drama in the aftermath of his 1999 album Play, as depicted in last year’s memoir, Then It Fell Apart.
But with the world already upside down, you could argue anything approaching wild experimentation or existential introspection is far from what we need. With All Visible Objects, Moby has delivered a solid collection of what he does best, alternately transporting you back the dancefloor of days gone by and daydreaming of summer skies. You can rely on this nostalgic, ambient record to ease you blissfully through the latter end of lockdown and into the new normal, whatever that might hold.
By Sarah Bradbury. First published on The Upcoming on 15th May 2020.
Photo: Jonathan Nesvadba
All Visible Objects is released on 15th May 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Moby – All Visible Objects ‘s website here.
Listen to the official audio for Morningside here: