Who would pay hard cash for the 16th album by an increasingly irrelevant 51-year-old musician who refuses to tour? Nobody. Not my harsh judgement but the words of Moby himself, which helps explain why pop’s most famous hardcore vegan launched this latest exercise in angst-fuelled electro-rock as a free download.
Building on the knowingly retro post-punk sonics of last year’s These Systems Are Failing, these nine doom-heavy songs marry angular guitars with urgent machine beats and light-touch electronics. The vocals also have an authentically ragged, semi-sneering, new wave edge.
But for all his apocalyptic bleakness, Moby’s electropopulist instincts remain active, lending a euphoric rush even to suicidally glum Joy Division-style confessionals like Silence and All The Hurts We Made.
Moby claims he makes albums purely for pleasure nowadays, and to vent his political despair. Perfectly valid reasons, even if the end result sometimes feels like watching an old man sobbing while having an angry wank. Which, frankly, I can get at home.