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Moby 

Hotel (V2)

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Moby is far too wealthy to care about credibility in the dance-music world he left behind after 1996's ill-conceived rock album Animal Rights and the mega-success of 1999's Play. Dissed as a crass merchant of bogus blues, soul, and gospel retrofitted for the laptop generation, Moby earnestly guffawed all the way to the ATM. His fourth disc, 18 (2002), revealed the trite mushiness at his music's core, and now that stinker -- along with Play -- deluges used-CD bins.

Hotel will soon join them. The disc boasts no samples, nor anything even diehard Moby fans could consider enticing. Most of Hotel is awash in saccharine orchestral ballads and clichéd rock that aspires to be uplifting, but is determinedly earthbound. Inexplicably, Moby often airs his weatherbeaten voice, which is flatter than Bernard Sumner's of New Order, whose "Temptation" gets denuded here. The "bonus" ambient CD is a cruel joke taken too far.

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