Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Darkness throbs beneath the surface of Moby’s fifteenth album

"Everything was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt"

Release date: 02 March 2018
Moby Everything Was Beautiful
03 January 2018, 16:38 Written by Dave Beech
Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt, Moby’s 15th album, harks back to his earlier releases, taking its influence from orchestral music, soul and trip-hop in equal measure. The result is a record uplifting and otherworldly, but not without a definite degree of darkness that throbs beneath its surface.

It’s a darkness both literal and metaphorical, and is as evident in the album’s song titles as much as in its overarching aesthetic: “The Waste of Suns”, “The Sorrow Tree” and “This Wild Darkness” all offer a more brooding approach to his trademark electronica.

The sombre nature of Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt is justified however. Themes of spirituality, humanity, and freedom and individuality all run through the course of the record; serious ideas manifested in its inherent darkness.

That Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt should take its title from the Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse Five is no small coincidence also. The two works share thematic similarities, but where the latter harbours an inarguable nihilism, Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt manages to unearth a sense of optimism, evident in the rich swells of “Ceremony of Innocence” or “The Tired and The Hurt”’s gossamer haze.

Though much of the record’s darker elements stem from its trip-hop influence, there’s a balance struck that ensures the album’s more claustrophobic moments never become overbearing. It also provides Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt with a progression that feels natural; an organic ebb and flow that was lacking from Moby’s more eclectic albums.

While not as immediately accessible as some of said albums, Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt is a record of understated beauty, and one that bristles with Moby’s typical quiet intelligence while posing more questions than it answers. And though it may take more than a couple of cursory listens before its true beauty begins to unfurl, it’s a record well worth sticking with.

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