Hailed during the start of the millennium for bringing electronic dance music into the mainstream, Moby has had quite a roller coaster career, eventually having the kind of musical success that would warrant a greatest hits collection in Go: The Very Best Of Moby.
Dance music often becomes bogged into a single idea — remixing hit songs. Moby saw that idea and went the other way completely. Making original music that naturally induces the urge to dance is hard. Moby does it effortlessly. Like his previous 2005 release Hotel, Moby gives a double disc effort and, this time, his second disc is filled with remixes of some of his tracks.
Much of his mainstream stuff is here, including his super popular “South Side,” minus Gwen Stefani, from his breakout smash 1999 album Play. It’s weird to hear the song without Stefani’s memorable voice, but it’s nice to have Moby’s vocals (as much as he says he has a terrible singing voice) at center stage. One of his other big hits is “Porcelain,” which has been featured in dozens of movies and commercials. It has a serene mood to it, perfectly delicate yet manipulatively calm.
Moby plays with moods in 18, his 2002 follow up to Play. That album’s biggest hit is his ode to astronomy and science, “We Are All Made Of Stars.” Moby reveals that it’s “actually a song about the material of which 99% of the universe is composed… and all the matter around us and in us literally does come from stars.” Also included are the very soulful “In This World,” with passionate lyrics by Jennifer Price, and the equally soulful “In My Heart,” featuring The Shining Light Gospel Choir. Spirituality is very prominent in his most recent effort, Hotel, which contains the more angelic offerings like the beautiful ballad duet “Dream About Me” with Laura Dawn and the gospel-like “Lift Me Up.”
There are a few tracks that might seem new to non-Moby fans. One is “New York, New York” featuring Debbie Harry. That’s because it is a brand new song, recorded especially for this compilation. Very upbeat, it sounds much like the kind of song that would be played during a Six Flags or amusement park commercial. Somehow I can imagine people waving their hands in the air as they zoom in circles at forty miles an hour. The other song is “Go,” which features samples of Tones on Tail’s “Go” and Laura Palmer’s theme “Twin Peaks.” Moby recalls the song “was actually the B-side to my first single, which was a quiet ambient track called 'Mobility'.” And being a huge Twin Peaks fan, he decided to mix the two together.
Moby includes a second disc of remixed tracks, totaling almost eighty minutes. The tracks are okay, with a mix of disappointing and fairly beat-y stuff. “Dream About Me” loses pretty much all of its harmoniousness with the inclusion of synthesized beats and the omission of Laura Dawn’s voice. I also think that “We Are All Made Of Stars” is the one Moby song least needing to be remixed. It has a nice beat and a very addicting melody. Then again, most of his songs don’t need to be remixed.
Go: The Very Best Of Moby is a very complete hits collection. Although the best track “Where You End,” from Hotel, isn’t included, it’s still nice to have a place where all of mainstream stuff can be located. But if you ask me, listening to these tracks out of their album place just sounds weird.