This is Moby’s most recent album after reaching mainstream popularity with his 1999 album, Play. Moby’s 2-CD album is an evolution to both Play and his 2002 release, 18, both of which resembled compilations with the abundance of guest artists. Both were fine albums, but Hotel brings out the mystic combination of electronic sounds and melodic words.
What stands out from both the earlier albums is Moby’s consistency to Hotel’s mood. Hotel’s cover of Moby staring through the window of a skyscraper overlooking the city is very transcendent. Moby strives to recreate that mood through his music. In contrast to his previous albums, Moby brings a uniform reflection of light and life.
Hotel begins with an instrumental/electronic intro that establishes the album’s mood. Tracks like “Beautiful” and “Lift Me Up” border on gospel music if not for the electronic sound, the fast tempo, and the lack of a choir.
Transcendency associates to God, which Moby wants to maintain consciousness of. “I Like It” seems a bit out of place with its differing tempo and lyrics. Sound-wise, it is out of place; emotion-wise, it is accurate to include a song regarding sex. But Moby uses the song to remind us to reflect on life as much as he does.
The best track is “Where You End” and its message of the true essence of life – love. Love doesn’t involve money nor is love limitless. Love is an effort and a struggle: “I tried to love you / I did all that I could / I wish that the bad now / And finally turned into good.”
You can try to love someone, but eventually that love needs to be reciprocated. The “end” is that point in life when the two become one.
Moby’s spiritual melodies take center stage on most of the first disc of the album, which is maybe why Moby included a second disc of just melodies and sound. The second disc continues with the mood set by the first disc, but also takes the sound into a new direction. The first disc spreads enchantment and raised spirits while the second disc offers melancholy and surreality. If an album was to be about life, it would have to include the countless moods experienceable. Moby starts observing the familiar emotions, but ends reflecting on the intimate and rare emotions that we all make us who we are.