cs-Moby18CD.JPG (70329 bytes)

V2 Records

   No, there's no new ground broken here. No, this CD doesn't jump out and grab you. No, it's not going to make Moby many new fans. Still, it's a great record. When I first heard it, I was kind of disappointed that it didn't hit me like the predecessor Play did the first time I heard that. Since then, I've noticed that 18 is rarely out of my disc player. This is one of those albums that you just want to hear. It's relaxing and peaceful. It's like swimming at night. It's comforting, but a little decadent. Songs like "Sleep Alone" and "At Least We Tried" are dreamy, disconnected, bittersweet soundscapes that wrap around the listener like a foggy blanket. The instrumentals (particularly "Fireworks") sound like less ominous takes on David Bowie's wordless work of the late '70s. With the exception of the lead off single and most "rocking" song, "We Are All Made Of Stars," 18 is great background music. Fortunately, it's more than that. The background slowly sneaks up on you and takes over the foreground. Before you know it, you're drifting on the echoing vocals of Sinead O'Connor in "Harbour." Athens even gets a nod as former local band Azure Ray provide the voices on "The Great Escape," which is one of the best tracks on the collection. Unfortunately, there is a downside to 18. The album is way too long and a lot of the tracks sound alike. If this had been called 12, it would've been much stronger as a whole, but then it wouldn't make such a great chill out record. By the time "I'm Not Worried At All" releases you, you'll be feeling relaxed and ready to deal with another days' stress. Even with its flaws, 18 is still one of the best records of 2002. (14 E. 4th St., New York, NY10012)

 Chris McKay/concertshots.com