Poor Moby. No matter how many commercials feature his music, how many awards adorn his mantel or how many hip vegetarian restaurants he owns, it can't be fun being second only to Ja Rule on Eminem's shit list. The feud between the rap prince and the twerpcore king may or may not be over, but there's no doubt that Marshall Mathers would absolutely despise Moby's latest. Which is too bad, because Hotel is pretty cool, a far-out collection of Judy Jetson sonics, well-drawn melodies and heavy breathing. When Hotel works (the glam throb of "Beautiful," the Ecstasy-dipped "Where You End"), it makes a good case for the faithful few who still think Moby is a genius. When Hotel falters (a funeral-procession cover of New Order's bouncy masterpiece "Temptation," an entire second disc of ambient soundscapes that would make Yanni howl with envy), it offers more ammo to Moby's cavalcade of detractors. But it's a hell of a lot better than Ja Rule's last album. Surely Eminem would agree.
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Geoff Harkness