Mopey

A vapid clone of Moby's previous efforts.

If you know the sound this motor makes, you may want to stick with what you've got, because "18", in all its senior splendour, is merely a vapid clone of Moby's previous.

Incessantly long-drawn and imbued with his idiosyncratic impulses, this is almost like a commercial throwback of his pre-"18" albums, like the immensely popular "Play", where "Run On" and "Southside" were distinct among a compendium of congruous others. Unfortunately for this moon-faced dude, the opening track, "We Are All Made Of stars", with its melancholy tedium of both verse and vibrato, warns in neon glare of the road ahead. "People may come together/ People may fall apart/ Nothing can stop us now / 'cos we are all made of stars" is as textually taut as a Daft Punk goody.

Familiar gospel/Gregorian music frames almost every track, giving it a haunting overtone, and the sparse and seemingly inane bits that interject the drone of music are not up to the mark. "Sleep Alone" pronounces a fascination with space sounds, while "At Least We Tried" is a half-boiled efforts. "Harbour", which includes vocals by Sinead O'Connor, puts a good voice to waste by infecting it with the Moby monotony.

This article was first published on 10 Jun 2002.