Published May 12, 2020Have we determined that enough time has past to start talking about Moby again? Ever since he made that claim about having had a relationship with Natalie Portman in his 2019 autobiography, Then It Fell Apart, Moby has largely shied away from the public eye following significant backlash. But he returns to the spotlight with his 17th studio album.
All Visible Objects is an ambitious project that, if nothing else, clearly showcases that the veteran musician still has a lot left to say. In many ways, the album feels part call to action, part swaddling blanket. It pushes some pretty overt messages about rising up and reclaiming power, while providing the salve to keep the fight going. Sweeping instrumental tracks like "Separation" and "All Visible Objects" are contrasted with the raw, frenetic pace of "Morningside" and "Power Is Taken" (the latter featuring the distinctly revolutionary refrain: "We who hate oppression / Must fight against the oppressors / Power is not shared / Power is taken").
It's no secret that art tends to imitates life, and it's impossible to not listen to All Visible Objects outside of the context of today's dystopian reality — the world is literally burning. It's a deeply textured and lush album that takes the necessary time to get its points across (no track dips below the five-minute mark). In short, Moby knows how to ruminate and wants you to as well.
Moby has always been the artist to wear his heart on his sleeve or, more specifically, his neck. Tattoos "vegan for life" and "protect the innocent / defend the vulnerable" are etched permanently onto his skin, denoting the artist's commitment to animal rights and the preservation of the planet. Historically, Moby has talked about simply wanting to give away his music for free, but in an effort to give back, he's gone ahead and donated all the proceeds from All Visible Objects to a selection of charities and advocacy groups he supports — each linked to a specific album track.
While no stranger to criticism and controversy, there's no denying Moby's impressive and ever-expanding discography. All Visible Objects is a welcome addition and one that offers a little bit of everything to everyone. (Mute)