Wait for Me (Deluxe Edition)
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Fiona Hutchings assesses Moby's 'Wait for Me', which coming out earlier this year, has now been re-released in a deluxe three CD edition
This limited edition version of the critically acclaimed 2009 album 'Wait for Me' packs a lot in to its three discs.
Disc 1 is the original album plus two specially recorded tracks, 'One Time We Live' which is the new single and its B side, 'Stay Down'.
Disc 2 in an ambient version of the original 16 track album. It bills itself as being "re-interpreted and re-recorded." More of that later...
Disc 3 is a DVD treasure trove. There are live highlights from Moby's European festival appearances this summer, an animated interview with the man himself and five videos. This includes one from David Lynch for the track, 'Shot in The Back of the Head'. As if all that weren't enough there are sixteen "blips" – 45 second animations for each of the tracks on the original album.
The original album starts with the song 'Division'. It is instrumental and so very sad that though beautiful I am relieved its so short!
With so much material at my finger tips I think it best to draw your attention to the real stand out moments of this very chilled and accomplished (and large!) piece of work.
If it was necessary to sum this album up in one word, that word would be melancholy. It is not to say it is depressing although the lyrics explore death, pain, loss and betrayal but there is very little anger and more a bittersweet regret and acceptance of one's fate. The only thing that surprises me is that while the singles, particularly 'Mistake', have had such a pronounced 80's vibe, the rest of the album feels much more like a mature follow up to Moby's 1999 album 'Play'. It is chilled out electronica over laid with smooth blues and R & B lyrics. That's not to say the tracks where Moby takes the vocals on stand out massively but they are certainly different.
In 'Pale Horses' Amelia Zirin Browns vocal's are haunting. 'Mistake', an ode to Joy Division, fully captures the melancholy of broken relationships. 'JTLF' features the aptly named Melody Zimmer on ethereal vocals. It reminds me of 'All I Need' by Air. The title track again features a haunting vocal, this time courtesy of Kelli Scarr but the music has a real electric country feel. I am not sure if that genre existed before!
The current single, 'One Time We Lived', is immediately catchy and musically more up tempo than most of the other tracks.
Moving on to the ambient version of the album, I was really not sure what to expect. Moby must be feeling pretty confident in his concept to present us with the same album twice. Remixes are hardly unusual in this genre. Indeed the single 'Mistake' boasted five versions of the same song. Plus the original album is pretty ambient, Moby being "the chill-out king" according to 'The Observer'. Does disc 2 really offer us anything new?
Well, for a start, the tracks are re-ordered. 'Jltf' and 'Jltf 1' are replaced with 'Jlft3', 'Slow Light' is replaced with 'Slow Light 1' and 'Slow Light 2'. 'Stock Radio' and 'One Time We Lived' are not on this album. I would guess this is to make the songs flow into each other and if so it does work. Other than that it is hard to pin down quite how this is different from the original. The tracks are perhaps even slower and stripped down and so feel quite spare and transient. Vocals are often so faint or sound as if they are coming from underwater that I can see it would be quite easy to float away. Nothing here feels quite real, sure or permanent.
Disc 3 is well worth a watch. A Moby gig is not some bloke behind a set of DJ decks. There is a huge energy and europhia about his performance. 'Bodyrock' makes you want to dance just as much as it did in 1999.
The 16 'blips' are funny little things. They are just snatches of the tracks accompanying animations of 'Moby the little idiot' alien who adorns the album and single covers. (Little Idiot is the name of Moby's own record label) I have never seen anyone else feature an idea like this. It doesn't always work. The snippets are 45 seconds long and seem to get cut off arbitrarily.
'Moby the little idiot' is interviewed by 'Dog' for a Q & A about the album. The animation really comes into its own. You get a real feel from the presentation as much as what Moby says that he has enjoyed making this album. Interestingly he mentions both the beauty and melancholy of the music and I watched this after listening to the album. so it seems he has managed to communicate his idea – to me at least.
In the EPK we get to see the man himself.
This album is very much a DIY affair. Moby recorded it in his bedroom, got his friends to contribute vocals and put it out on his own label. He is revelling in the fact that being his own boss means he can make the non-commercial decisions. This is private music as Moby himself puts it. Following the huge success of 'Play' at the turn of the century Moby could have sold his soul but he never has and his innocence, fragility and integrity is very apparent.