Scan the daily headlines and you'll find no shortage of things at present for anyone to be upset about. Moby isn't letting the ills of the world get him down though; instead, they serve as the driving force behind These Systems Are Failing, an album both powerful and political that plays through without coming off the least bit preachy.
In an accompanying manifesto, Moby writes of "great cities…industries…systems" that have affected society negatively, instead of providing the protection and freedom they once promised. His worldview firmly rooted in veganism, he feels these systems have "poisoned our air, killed the animals, butchered the land — and destroyed us."
It's dour subject matter, yet the material never feels truly bleak thanks to its urgent, aggro new wave-leaning delivery. Unquestionably the most "punk" record Moby has made since 1996's Animal Rights, his foot rarely comes off the pedal through 12 tracks of soaring synths ("Hey! Hey!"), driving drums and guitars ("I Wait For You") and powerful chorus sections ("Erupt & Matter," "Dark Star"). The heavy reliance on these elements can at times make the listen feel same-y, minus the dance-oriented "Almost Loved" nearer to the end, but the energy rarely wanes.
"I can't offer solutions, only raise issues," Moby writes in more accompanying musings. While challenging these systems is something we must do ourselves, with These Systems Are Failing, he's created an ideal soundtrack for doing so. (Little Idiot/Mute)