Album Review: Moby – “Last Night”

Last Night was the first album Moby released through Mute US, the U.S. office of the British record label, Mute Records. Moby had been releasing material through Mute Records for a number of years outside of the United States, but that material had been released through other record labels in the United States. It was nice to finally see Moby getting released through Mute in the States.

When the album was first being announced, it was being said that Moby was trying to make Last Night more of a “dance album” than the past couple of Moby releases had been. When I first heard that news, I was really excited to hear the album. However, after I actually heard Last Night, I ended up feeling rather disappointed. Last Night isn’t a bad album, but it didn’t sound like what I had expected it to from the promotion for the album. In the liner notes, Moby included an essay explaining what his intent was for the album. What it boiled down to was that Moby was trying to make the album sound like a night out in New York. Even though I understand what Moby’s intention was, it just didn’t work for me.

As I listened to the album, it felt to me like Moby was trying to re-tread the sounds of several eras in his back catalog. “Ooh Yeah” sounded like a return to the Instinct Records days. There were other songs where I could pick up where they would have fit in Moby’s back catalog: Everything is Wrong (“I Love to Move in Here,” “Everyday It’s 1989,” and “The Stars”), Play (“Alice”), and 18 (“Live for Today”). “Degenerates” sounded like it could have appeared on one of the ambient CDs that were released as part of the limited edition versions of some of Moby’s earlier albums. “I’m in Love” sounded like it was influenced by Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” By the time I finished listening to Last Night, it just didn’t feel as if Moby really brought anything new musically to this album.

The last four tracks on the album are all a slower tempo, which seems to go against the idea of Last Night being a “dance album.” Having that many slow tempo songs in a row like that makes it harder to listen to the end of the album; it really doesn’t help that “Last Night,” the last song on the disc, runs for almost ten minutes. “Sweet Apocalypse” and “Mothers of the Night” sounded like they should have been B-side songs, instead of being included on the actual album. If those two songs had been left off, it would have helped to improve the overall flow of the album.

In the end, Last Night really isn’t a bad album, even if I did have a lot of complaints about it. Unfortunately, the album just wasn’t what I was expecting. Last Night is definitely an album you really need to have going as background music, because it can be rather difficult to listen to if you’re trying to concentrate on it.


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