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ELECTRONICA

How fast they fall

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April 1, 2008

Moby

Last Night (Mute)

ESSENTIAL "I'm in Love"

Moby fans, rejoice. For those of you whose favorite album by the bald wunderkind of electronica is 2005's "Hotel," a sequel has arrived. If the collective response to the above proclamation is less than deafening, there may be a reason. For the man who once fearlessly announced, "All that I need is to be loved," and who published pro-vegetarian, anti-animal cruelty manifestos in his album booklets, "Last Night" is a remarkably impersonal work. Moby himself doesn't sing here, relegating the microphone to a procession of colorless divas. The music does not feel much fresher, either: "I Love to Move in Here" is a "Play" retread with a phoned-in rap from Grandmaster Caz, and "Live for Tomorrow" sounds like something Donna Summer would have turned up her nose at. From the heights of his twin classic albums, 1995's "Everything Is Wrong" and 1999's "Play," Moby has fallen farther and faster than nearly any other major performer of the past decade. From musical savior to hawker of seventh-rate electronic noodling, Moby has shed layers of his critical reputation more quickly than a Bostonian deplaning in Miami in February sheds his winter coat. [Saul Austerlitz]

The best advice he's taken

in a while

How fast

they fall

The title

says it all

What sophomore slump?

Drink, listen, and be merry

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