I listen to quite a wide variety of music, but my favourite genre isdefinitely straight-up guitar-drums-bass rock. A well-crafted guitar solowill get me grooving (and making a fool of myself if anyone's around towatch me) every time. Bands like U2, Collective Soul, Delirious, and, um,U2 get a lot of airtime on my stereo. If it involves a band that cranksout melodic music, plays its own instruments and sounds at least a littlebit original, then I'll probably give it a listen. However, for somereason I've long harboured an unconscious prejudice against artists whosemusic relies heavily on loops, samples and other "artificial" sources. Igenerally find such music acceptable in a live setting like a club, but Idon't generally choose to listen to it on my own time.
So it came as somewhat of a surprise to me to discover that I liked Moby. I started really listening- and getting into- various tracks from his Playalbum about 6 months ago, so when I saw 18 I decided to grab it.
How do I describe music that fits so perfectly into the background of justabout anything I happen to be doing? Stylistically, I think it's quitesimilar to Play- I guess one way to test that would be to mix tracks fromboth albums together into one playlist and see how well they play together. I think I recall reading some criticism of 18 a little while back for justthat reason- it's too similar to Play. That's not a problem for me though. This is good music to groove to, whatever the occasion. It's not aparticularly significant milestone in the history of music production, butI predict that it will be a recurring theme in the soundtrack to my lifefor quite a while. Oh, and the "artificial music" bit? Sure, thoseelements do occasionally appear on this album, but I don't mind. Mymusical taste must be devolving or something (the purist U2 snobs who can'tstand the noise of Zooropa- which I have grown quite fond of- wouldprobably argue that it was not very evolved to begin with, but there yougo).
So, to summarize: if you like your music to have hefty substance andlong-lasting cultural significance, 18 isn't likely to move you. On theother hand, if you need something light and mellow to complement anotheractivity without being distracting, I think 18 is a good choice.
And one final reason to at least give Moby a look: he has a
(This review originally appeared at