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Wait For Me
Little Idiot
June 30, 2009
None Listed

It's ten years since Moby's Play stormed the castle, and quite a lot has changed since then. MTV has basically stopped playing music videos. iPods arrived in 2001 and have since morphed and split two dozen times. Napster came and went, then came again and went again, and is now back again. So is Moby, whose latest release, Wait For Me, is as different from Play as any of the above are different from their decade-old predecessors. Written and composed as one complete journey, the album was inspired by a David Lynch speech on the importance of creating for creativity's sake, without worrying about marketability (as opposed to Play, which saw each one of its 18 tracks licensed for use in film, television and commercials.) Wait For Me instead takes its listener on a much more laid-back, humble and often spiritual journey, a mixture of romance and pain, melancholy and hope that, indeed, doesn't appear concerned about commercialism at all.

The instrumental, orchestral "Division," opens the album on a decidedly somber note, setting the mood for what's to come. Other such tracks include: "Stock Radio," which as the name suggests is nothing but scratchy radio noise run through a mixer; "Scream Pilots," which comes about halfway through and is nowhere near as "screamy" as its name would suggest, but rather invokes a somewhat unsettling feeling; and the seemingly Lynch-inspired "Isolate," which closes the album out on a downbeat and somewhat loopy note (alongside two other instrumentals, making this one of the most daring album closes I've seen). "Shot in the Back of the Head," another instrumental track, takes the honor of being the album's first single; the video on YouTube, directed by David Lynch, appropriately sets the mood: frightening and eerie, moody and moaning, distorted and wonderful all at once. Together, these vocal-less tracks seem to tie the album together nicely, with the lack of voice only emphasizing those we do hear elsewhere.

"Walk With Me" is a slow, sad churn, with weary, ragged gospel vocals layered atop gradually building electronic ominousness, Mahalia Jackson meets Year Zero. "Pale Horses" is perhaps the most Play-like track on the album, featuring similarly bluesy, repetitious female vocals cracked halfway to Billie Holiday, lamenting the sadness of days gone by atop electronic beats until stuttering to an end. Similar in tone and structure is "Study War," which loops gospel cries and moans over drums and electronic ambiance; for some reason, it reminds me of nothing so much as's "Yes We Can." "A Seated Night" takes the gospel thing one step further, adding a full choir and evoking a quiet, peaceful night in a church... in the town of Twin Peaks, Washington.

One notable standout is the title track, "Wait For Me," one of the most powerful tracks on the album and something akin to an American Massive Attack, spooky and sad and yet somehow hopeful for rescue from without, somewhere, somewhen. Somewhat of a misfire by comparison is "Mistake," which sees Moby seemingly channeling a bit of David Bowie and Ian Curtis at once on a gloomy song that tries to be upbeat but, surrounded as it is by more sedate stuff, comes in just a tiny a bit short of the target.

Wait For Me was practically recorded in secret in Moby's home studio in Manhattan with the help of just a few close friends and a handful of unknown vocalists (proving, once and for all, that America's Got Talent, I suppose), and the album's aesthetic certainly seems to reflect that closed-in, dark but comfy atmosphere. Moby himself has said that the album is something that a "26-year-old depressed woman could relate to"; one can only hope that, despite its anti-commercial origins, it finds a significantly larger audience than that.

Favorite Track: "Walk With Me"

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Michael Fiegel is a freelance writer and game designer. His diverse background includes journalism, radio copywriting, technical writing, graphic design and music reviewing. He is best known as the creator of the Internet cult sensation Ninja Burger and the dark, twisted psychological Vox RPG. He can be reached at or at his website,

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