When handed the task of reviewing Moby’s tenth studio album Destroyed I didn’t know what to expect. Arriving nearly two decades after the release of his self titles first album, Destroyed serves as somewhat of an artistic retrospective for the multi-faceted artist. Mostly known for the commercially successful play, Moby has tried to go back to his more melodic roots with this album. I think it’s nearly impossible for him to release a bad album as each one has tracks that suit any occasion.
Moby himself has stated that foreign cities, late at night when he struggled with insomnia, provided the perfect backdrop for the creation of “Destroyed.” Even the album cover is in keeping with the isolated feeling the album emits. The photo in question was taken in LaGuardia Airport late one night when no one else was around. It is a picture of a sign that reads ‘Destroyed’, it’s shown in the airport to notify passengers when the unclaimed baggage has been disposed of.With this album Moby introduces the listener to the strange and disconcerting life of touring that is not often exposed, the time spent isolated in anonymous, mundane hotel rooms, airports, and various other buildings around the world. We are introduced to this world of solitude and taken on a journey which tries to help us understand the isolation of being on tour.
Opening with the airy, winding synth of “The Broken Places,” the slow winding nature of the album is again stressed in the piano & beat driven “Victoria Lucas” and the bubbling “Blue Moon” the latter being a track which also finds its pace through focusing on Moby’s calm, layered vocals. The songs themselves are hard to pick apart as distinctive or standout tracks. They are quite similar and they all take a few listens to distinguish from one another. No one track really stand out and the album feels like it would be good to use as background music or to listen to when you need to unwind. There are a few that could be worth talking about like “Be the One”, “Stella Maris” and “After”, but they never really seem to have the killer hooks needed to be a stand out track. I think the album is a very personal one but sometimes it feels like the listener just isn’t in on the journey.
I believe that Moby fans may be sitting on the fence with this one, it is quite similar to a lot of the work he has done in the past and this can either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your own personal perspective. I think that the album will probably not be known as one of his best but it is certainly worth the listen it sounds good throughout and serves as a welcomed summation of his past two decades of work, it a pity but it just doesn’t have the wow factor we have come to expect from one of electronic music’s greatest legacy’s.