Moby's `Innocents' is in the same general groove as its immediate predecessors `Wait for Me' and `Destroyed', in that many of the numbers are stretched out, reflective, even ambient rather than party-danceable, though overall this collection is rather more upbeat. The arrangements are for the most part thoughtful & interesting if not exactly mould-breaking, and we are offered the distinctive-trademark Moby soundscape with top-class production values - for the first time not overseen by Moby himself, but here delegated to Mark Stent.
The vocals are the strength of this collection, featuring an impressive list of collaborators: Cold Specks aka Al Spx, Mark Lanegan, Skylar Grey, Inyang Bassey, Damien Jurado and Wayne Coyne.
Two of the standout tracks are the anthem-like `Almost Home' featuring Damien Jurado and the superb `The Perfect Life' with Wayne Coyne and a gospel choir, possibly the high point of this collection and destined surely to be a perennial stage-show favourite. There are no fillers, and even the instrumentals are good.
Some no doubt will say that Moby is treading water, that he has never trumped his 1999 breakthrough `Play' and continues to offer more of the same. This is not really true: the past three albums in particular have embraced a more mature, intimate sound (this artist after all is now 48), mood-setting music which you can actually listen to rather than dance to. It's been said that Moby "makes forlorn melody better than anyone"; `Innocents' may turn out to be a long-time favourite and one of the career highlights of this interesting and original artist.