Mobyâ€™s tenth album, Destroyed, is a mostly instrumental, abstract outing where R & B and synth noodlings come together to create sprawling techno soundscapes that sound like ambient music on steroids.
Created amidst a backdrop of constant touring and insomnia, the music reflects Mobyâ€™s mindset when he was alone in his hotel room feeling frazzled. Thereâ€™s not much in the vocal department here, just a lot of electronica experimentation, making Destroyed a bold step. A number of songs, such as â€œBe the One,â€ are characterized by an off-putting Dalek, vacuum cleaner narrative. But â€œBe the One’sâ€ robotic chant is also infectious (â€œI was the one when you needed loveâ€) and the synthesizers undulate invitingly. (Think the Pet Shop Boys meets Klaatuâ€™s â€œLittle Neutrino.â€)
Moby channels David Bowie during his Heroes period with â€œThe Day.â€ His voice is slack, emotionless, and the synths gurgle, capturing the dread of night. Another highlight is â€œStella Mars.â€ The synths take on a classical bent and thereâ€™s a high mass vocal that recalls the eerie Druid droning of the Dead Can Dance.
Mobyâ€™s dramatic use of synthesizers can make his compositions sound a bit like those of Japanese electronica pioneer Isao Tomita, or at their most self-indulgent moments, like the soundtrack to a Godzilla movie, but he has a knack for sampling and creating spacey atmospheres that will soothe anyoneâ€™s jangled nerves.