Moby's Hotel

Moby sold millions of copies of his 1999 sample-savvy dance mosaic record Play, with virtually no radio airplay. "The Iggy Pop of electronica," as Penthouse dubbed the eccentric artist, licensed all of the songs off the album for television advertising. And people were actually going, "Wow! Who does that Bailey's Irish Cream song?" Hotel is further evidence of the simple genius of Moby, who calls himself the "little idiot." Days after the CD's release, the funk-edged guitar riff from one of the album's tracks, "Beautiful," played in a commercial for VH1's "Best Week Ever" show.

Although Moby recorded Hotel in his bedroom studio and played almost every instrument himself, there's a subtle, sublime shine to the double album. His previous efforts might have been soaked in samples, but Hotel presents nothing but straightforward songwriting and organic innovation; the entire record is sample-free. The tracks range from soulful dance numbers like "Raining Again" and electro-disco ditties like "Very" to New Wave synth songs like "Where You End" and melancholy dance-pop moments like "Slipping Away." The second CD, Hotel-Ambient, contains 11 mind-numbing electronic instrumentals. Don't be surprised if a boxed set of "Moby's Catchiest TV Commercial Songs" appears soon, too.

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