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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 6 April 2005
If you're expecting something like Play, or even 18, you'll be surprised -- and maybe disappointed -- at this. Here, I think, Moby has decided that his albums should have more of his own Voice. The trouble is, he doesn't have much of a voice -- something that he has recognised in the past and we have been treated to some of the most powerful and beautiful voices in the session-singing world, stirred in with Moby's originality and production genius. Here, in Hotel, is Moby's voice combined with one female singer, whose voice has been chosen presumably because it is as gentle as his (though much more versatile). I started off not liking Hotel, then liked it more, and now have gone full circle -- deciding ultimately that it's a bit easy-listeningish and ... well, I hate to say it, being a great Moby fan, but boring. It's OK: it's smooth, and far more 'even' than his other albums, which would move from genre to genre far more waywardly (sometimes unsuccessfully). It's just that it doesn't make the heart thump like the best of his work on previous albums ... and I now realise that what made most of those brilliant tracks work so brilliantly was the extraordinary power of the voices Moby employed and the way that he used them. Hotel is worth buying to see the way that Moby is going -- it's quite pleasant and inoffensive. But don't expect anything as good as 'Play'.
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on 29 July 2017
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on 8 March 2017
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on 13 March 2005
So, 3 years after the multiplatinum 18 which was sort of a sequel to Play he's returning with something new and fresh and quite different than the 2 previous american blues/gospel/spiritual/soul sample dominated albums. This time there are no "Why does my heart feel so bad" or "Honey" or "In this world". It has a more european, synthy and atmospheric sound. It could be a mid 90's trip hop Bristol album. He shares the vocals with Laura Dawn who has a very warm and soft and heartbreaking voice. Her singing in very electronic and ambient-ish version of New Order's Temptation makes you imagine beautiful landascapes and imageries. This album is quite different than what he did with the last couple ones and it needs it's time to grow but if you give it a chance it proves itself to be maybe his finest work to date. Don't expect the Lift Me Up (first) single of the album to be representative of style and sound. Though it has it's "stadium" moments. Expect Spiders to be a huge live fav and hit if released as a single.
Very is a mixture of disco and rave sound. It could be from "Everything is Wrong" album if done today. "Raining again" is a drum/piano/guitar led stomper in "We are all made of Stars" and "Extreme Ways" tradition.Beautiful, the next single, is meant to be a radio hit."Where you End" is very electronic and dreamy and could be a Depeche Mode song. "Dream about Me" is electronic and cinematic too with exquisite vocals. Very sentimental and melancholic. I am telling you again. If you spend a few listens to it you will discover that probably it is his best work to date. Highly recomended.
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on 14 March 2005
Most people got to know Moby's music after he released the Play album, which spawned several singles while every track was used for adverts on tv. Thankfully, having gotten the difficult follow-up album out of the way (18, which probably could have been titled Play Vol.2) Moby has released a real classic with Hotel. Ditching the samples and instead opting to sing himself with a guitar-based, 80's synth-rock kind of sound, what we have here is an organic collection of great tunes. Some fans may miss the Play/18 kind of sound, but I much prefer this new approach. it just feels more natural and honest. After a few plays, I don't think there is a bum note or song on this. It's pretty much a perfect Moby album. And if you opt for the limited edtion, you get a second album of wonderful ambient soundscapes that is so good it could have been a genuine seperate release.
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The 2005 follow-up to `18' is more personally introspective than Moby's other recent work. For starters, there's a lot more of his own singing voice in evidence. He would be the first to admit he doesn't possess the vocal power or range of a great singer; somehow his barely adequate crooning not only reinforces the personal nature of the songs but allows for compensating instrumental richness to offset the vocals, which as a consequence never dominate the action.

The 15 tracks on the main album (disk 1) are a mixed bunch, some with strong hooks like `Raining Again', `Lift me up', `Beautiful' (the lyrics are not what they first seem - listen carefully) are right in the techno-dance mode but at the same time manage to capture an intimate feel. Some numbers like `Slipping Away' are more obviously introspective.

In the prolifically productive style of Moby, more music and more value is offered with a second disk of `ambient' music, different in character from the first; a non-intrusive quality soundscape as a background to work or study - or a dinner party.

In the album notes Moby explains his choice of title. Like life with its loves and obsessions, everything is temporary (actually a very Buddhist concept). The hotel is a permanent structure in the sense that the building is long-lasting but the rooms contain different lives and passions which come and go, day by day. A hotel room is an intimate space; home for a night, or two, and the space is cleaned, refreshed ready for the next occupant who in turn lives out intimate moments of their life in the same space, and then the same ritual again. It's a synthesis of the permanent and the impermanent.

`Hotel' is neither Moby's `best' nor `worst' album; it's just good. Moby as an artist is unusually open and honest with his listening public, refreshingly free of pretensions, a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy. Even more than with his previous work, the artist himself is on display here.
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on 28 August 2008
For lovers of older Moby, those album obviously comes as a shock - the songs don't have quite the same Moby feel to them. Nevertheless, I absolutely love this album. Admittedly, it's taken a bit of getting used to (mostly due to my stubborn refusal to listen to it now that Lift Me Up has become so popular) but once you really sit down and listen to it, the musical genius that is Moby really shines through. The only tracks that don't really agree with me are Lift Me Up (predominantly due to its popularity!) and Beautiful, most likely because they sound too "mainstream" and I prefer more quirky, alternative sounds. My absolute favourites would be I Like It (bit sexy), Slipping Away and Forever. These three really are beautifully handcrafted songs, which is why I love them so much.

I especially liked the note Moby wrote inside the sleeve, explaining the title. Another reason to love this band, they show such intelligence, which doesn't really seem to be so prominent in up-and-coming bands anymore.

On the whole, a fantastic album. Perhaps not one for die-hard Moby fans, but if you just coax it out of its shell, you'll wonder why you were ever there in the first place.
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on 23 February 2015
I think this is one of Moby's weakest albums. The faster songs are ok but the slower songs - which are the majority - are, well, boring in my opinion. Additionally Moby has a very slow and monotonous way of singing - in fact I don't think he can sing! He should leave the singing to others like he mostly did on Play and 18.
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on 18 March 2005
I love the sleeve notes that Moby puts in to his albums, not that he needs to explain himself, but it's great to have an idea of where the artist is coming from, and Hotel is no exception. From the concept to the music, 'Hotel' is an excellent album and it's been on repeat in the iPod every since I received it!
'Raining Again', 'Lift Me Up' and 'Spiders' are very strong tracks, I agree with the other reviewers who think that 'Spiders' will be a single. Moby's songwriting goes from strength to strength.
Considering the singers he could have colaborated with, I like the approach he's taken to the vocals on this album. Although he's used a number of backing vocalists, he has employed just two people for main vocal duties; himself and Laura Dawn. 'Dream About Me' is a great example of Laura's airy, haunting vocal balancing out Moby's vocal. With Laura taking the lead on 'Temptation', 'Very' and 'Like It' which are all in very different singing styles, showing her diversity.
Despite Laura's beautiful vocal, the Moby-led 'Slipping Away' was the highlight for me. One can't help feeling, the through his music, Moby is trying to communicate something, that perhaps, we should all listen to.
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2005
Difficult to talk up an album, people generally think you are some dedicated sycophant. Really loved Play, Everything is wrong, and well 18 felt empty, more like a Bsides album.
But there is something great about Hotel, something rather sensitive and simple about it. There are one or two songs you feel you have heard before, I will leave you to decide for yourself. Must highlight 'Slipping Away' and 'Dream About Me' for special praise, both these songs have lovely melodies and are rousing in their respective and different ways. Talking of melodies, Moby is obviously aware of how limited his voice can be, rather perversely this acts in his favour as he tends to drench other parts of the song with melody and counter melody, be it a beautiful guitar line or some tinkling on a keyboard. Also he doesnt dominate or capitulate in respect of his other vocalists, he uses their beautiful voices to add an extra dimension, sometimes sparring with and sometimes adding to. I was moved to write a review because I was pleasantly surprised by this album, it is very good. And unlike so many albums these days the good songs far outweigh the bad. The production is pure and clean as well.
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