Iconoclastic Christian, vegan and techno’s first star, Moby has wearied of dance and rave as techno and its dance subgenres win spins on MTV and an outpouring of cheers in Rolling Stone. So techno’s high-profile wizard has delivered a rock album.
A far cry from the soaring “Everything Is Wrong"--Moby’s practically flawless 1995 record that seemed poised to turn the music world inside out--"Animal Rights” is a dark, brooding album of mostly abrasive, industrial-punk guitars. In sync with the harsh sounds, the theme of betrayal rules this record. Moby gorges on brutal love and just plain not caring. Instrumentals such as “Dead Sun” and the soothing violin number “Now I Let It Go” feel like dry heat, but mostly the feelings are extravagant and harsh.
“You made me a life of hell / I can’t live with no one else,” Moby cries fiercely on the scorching “Someone to Love.” Along the same emotional lines, “Heavy Flow” pulses angrily, like a red alert. The first single is “That’s When I Reach for My Revolver,” a song by the Boston band Mission of Burma with the standout line “The truth is not that comfortable.”
Moby may be reaching for a new kind of truth, and it is both disquieting and thrilling to hear his thrashing about. But be warned: It’s never comfortable.
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* Excerpts from these albums and other recent releases are available on The Times’ World Wide Web site. Point your browser to: https://www.latimes.com/soundclips