Release Date: Apr 1, 2008
Record label: Mute
On Last Night, Moby is as blissfully out of touch with modern club music as he is current. As he explains (of course) in the album's liner notes, he has been in the thick of New York City club culture since the early '80s, and he takes the opportunity here to pay tribute to a number of dance music strains that have fallen in and out of fashion -- in a couple cases, they've recently fallen back into fashion -- including some angles he hasn't taken in well over a decade. The sturdiest, most appealing tracks tend to be where Moby breaks out with some highly energized combination of rollicking pianos, stabbing keyboards, and random divas, mixing and matching rave, Hi-NRG, and disco: "Everyday It's 1989," "Stars," and "Disco Lies" (featuring a vocalist who is nearly a dead ringer for a young Taylor Dayne) would've had no place on any of the last five Moby albums.
As backhanded as it sounds, the best part of Moby’s Last Night is his invisibility in the project. The New York producer wisely sucked up his ego, put the mic back in its box, removed his face from the artwork and instead revisited the reasons he’s a household name associated with dance music in the first place. Last Night is a cool idea and a mission almost impossible.
Moby's fifth album, Play (1999), was the commercial -- and arguably artistic -- high point of his career. It was an album that defined what mainstream electronic music sounded like at the turn of the century, with its crackly breakbeats and mournful blues samples. But its success left him subsequently disoriented. A quick laundry list reveals every track on the record licensed to different commercials, a jaded fan base crying "sellout," and ultimately an uber-popular Eminem dis culminating in a beef involving an insult comic dog who wishes to remain nameless.