Hotel (album)

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Hotel
Moby Hotel.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 14, 2005
Recorded2004
Genre
Length
  • 57:08 (disc one)
  • 67:53 (disc two)
Label
ProducerMoby
Moby chronology
18 B Sides + DVD
(2003)
Hotel
(2005)
Go - The Very Best of Moby
(2006)
Alternate cover
Hotel: Ambient 2014 reissue cover
Hotel: Ambient 2014 reissue cover
Singles from Hotel
  1. "Lift Me Up"
    Released: February 28, 2005
  2. "Raining Again"
    Released: May 23, 2005
  3. "Spiders"
    Released: May 30, 2005
  4. "Dream About Me"
    Released: August 8, 2005
  5. "Beautiful"
    Released: September 12, 2005
  6. "Slipping Away"
    Released: January 23, 2006

Hotel is the seventh studio album by American electronica musician Moby, first released internationally on March 14, 2005 and then on March 22, 2005 in the United States. Hotel was recorded under the Pacha label and mixed at Moby's apartment, Electric Lady Studios, and Loho Studios in Manhattan, New York City. Initial quantities of the album came with a second CD of ambient music entitled Hotel: Ambient.

The album was a departure from Moby's previous two electronica and dance driven albums (Play and 18), incorporating a more alternative rock-based approach, and is the first Moby album since 1993's Ambient to not contain any vocal samples. The album received a mixed critical reception. Despite this, it reached number 8 in the UK[1] and debuted straight at number 1 in some European countries[2][3] and went on to earn gold and platinum awards in over twenty countries, with global sales of over 2 million copies.[4]

On December 16, 2014, Hotel: Ambient was reissued as a standalone release with additional tracks.

Background[edit]

The album name Hotel was explained in one of Moby's journal entries. The artist was fascinated by the nature of hotels, where humans spend often significant portions of their lives, but have all traces of their tenancy removed for the next guests.[5]

Moby is responsible for playing the instruments on all the tracks, except for drums. Laura Dawn provides additional vocals. The first UK single was "Lift Me Up", released on February 28, 2005. The second UK single, "Spiders", was released on May 23, 2005 to coincide with Moby's UK tour. The album includes a ballad cover of New Order's "Temptation". Worldwide, the album has sold over 2 million copies.[citation needed]

As with Moby's previous albums, Play and 18, there was a Hotel DVD featuring the videos for the singles, a live concert, and a sequel to Moby's home movie and tour diary series, Give an Idiot a Camcorder.

The bonus disc of Hotel titled Hotel: Ambient, which consisted of ambient music, was later re-released as a separate release on December 16, 2014.[6] The release contains remastered versions of all songs on the original, together with three extra tracks: "May 4 Two", "Spaired Long", and "Live Forever (Long)".[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic47/100[8]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[9]
Blender3/5 stars[10]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[11]
The Guardian2/5 stars[12]
Los Angeles Times2.5/4 stars[13]
Mojo3/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork2.4/10[15]
Q3/5 stars[16]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[17]
Uncut2/5 stars[18]

Hotel was met with mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 47, based on 24 reviews.[8] Critics gave a lukewarm reaction to the album's first disc which they felt was mostly "predictable" and "generic",[12][19] while most of the praise went towards the second disc comprising ambient techno: AllMusic calling it the record's "saving grace" and Entertainment Weekly complimenting its "ethereal" instrumentals.[9][11] Andy Kellman from AllMusic observed that Hotel shows little inspiration from Moby's previously advertised new wave and post-punk era, while criticising his decision to hold off from sampling which he felt lead to an album with "all valley and no peaks", but nevertheless praised the "lovely" opening and closing tracks.[9] Not all critics opposed Moby's decision to abstain from sampling; Christian Hoard from Rolling Stone considered the "nostalgic" songs to "transmit singer-songwriter warmth and clarity through textures that effuse autumnal beauty", despite feeling relatively sparse and the slower tracks "[vaguing] out".[17] On the other hand, Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times was unimpressed with Moby's "detached, deadpan" vocals which leaves most of the tracks as "surface decorations". He felt that although it sounds more "natural", its essence was instead "less organic and more calculated", thus showing the album's "insistence on being liked".[13] Writing for The Guardian, David Peschek also commented on the record's vocals, feeling that the "cumulative vocal pallor" and "bizarrely cliched ideas" makes for a "wan listen".[12]

Eric Henderson from Slant Magazine further compared the record to a chain of hotels, writing: "[Hotel] is one identical room/song after another. Same furnishings, same instrumentation, same emotionless façade."[19] Nick Cowen of Drowned In Sound felt equally about the album's "bland and instantly forgettable" tone, while disapproving of the "unbelievably bad" cover of New Order's "Temptation" which he wrote was too "stripped down" and slow.[20] Pitchfork's Rob Mitchum was most critical of Hotel, pointing out that the record "strikes the same mood of one-way-street sloganeering" consisting of "simple, familiar, and recycled" imagery, which dropped Moby to a "blank manufacturer of rock-by-numbers" devoid of his previously distinguishing characteristics.[15]

Entertainment Weekly's Doug Brog however was more positive towards the album, commending Moby's "appealing cheekiness" among the songs, especially with the "big-chorus soft rock" on "Slipping Away".[11] Andy Battaglia from The A.V. Club agreed that Hotel still "holds out a few touching glimmers" with songs like "Slipping Away" which is carried by a "robust melodic hook", coupled with the "sexy, mysterious production and breathy vocals" on "I Like It".[21]

Moby's opinion in retrospect[edit]

In recent years, Moby has stated in several interviews that Hotel is his least favourite of all of the albums he has made. In an interview with Q, Moby said that although the production was "very slick and very professional", he was dissatisfied with the final product once it was done.[22]

"I like some of the songs, but I produced it in such a generic way, that I was really kinda disappointed with myself as a producer and as a musician."

— Moby, (Q interview, 2009)

In his Q&A with The Arts Deck, he felt that while he was making the album, he was more focused on the fame aspect after the unexpected success with Play and wanted to produce an album that had the potential to be commercially successful.[23]

"It's the only time in my life I've ever done that. I recorded it in a big studio with a really successful engineer [Brian Sperber] and ended up with a very slick, polished anodyne record that I just don't like very much. Some of the songs are nice but I'm disappointed I made such a conventional generic record."

— Moby, (The Arts Deck Q&A, 2011)

In 2016, in an article by Noisey where Moby ranked his own albums from worst to best, he ranked Hotel as his worst album at number 9.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Disc one: Hotel[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Hotel Intro"1:54
2."Raining Again"3:43
3."Beautiful"3:10
4."Lift Me Up"3:14
5."Where You End"3:18
6."Temptation"4:52
7."Spiders"3:42
8."Dream About Me"3:19
9."Very"3:39
10."I Like It"3:42
11."Love Should"3:47
12."Slipping Away"3:37
13."Forever"3:34
14."Homeward Angel"5:37
15."35 Minutes" (hidden track on all editions)5:22

Disc two: Hotel:Ambient (all versions excluding iTunes)[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Swear"6:41
2."Snowball"4:25
3."Blue Paper"6:07
4."Homeward Angel (Long)"10:57
5."Chord Sounds"7:25
6."Not Sensitive"3:10
7."Lilly"3:53
8."May 4 Two" (Additional track for 2014 reissue)8:10
9."The Come Down"5:18
10."Overland"6:49
11."Live Forever"7:15
12."Aerial"5:51
13."Spaired Long" (Additional track for 2014 reissue)7:51
14."Live Forever (Long)" (Additional track for 2014 reissue)15:40

B-Sides 2005[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."It's Ok" (from "Raining Again" and Spiders" singles)3:53
2."Mulholland" (from "Lift Me Up" single)8:31
3."Put the Headphones On" (from "Raining Again" and Spiders singles)3:49

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[25] Gold 20,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[26] Gold 15,000*
Belgium (BEA)[27] Gold 25,000*
France (SNEP)[29] Platinum 300,400 [28]*
Ireland (IRMA)[30] Gold 7,500^
Germany (BVMI)[31] Gold 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 100,000^
Worldwide (IFPI) N/A 2,000,000[4]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/certified-awards/search.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.ultratop.be/nl/album/1519/Moby-Hotel
  3. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Moby - Hotel - hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "rage". www.abc.net.au. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  5. ^ "hotel". moby.com. 7 April 2005. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  6. ^ "Hotel : Ambient by Moby on Apple Music". iTunes Store. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Garratt, John (January 26, 2015). "Moby: Hotel: Ambient". PopMatters. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Reviews for Hotel by Moby". Metacritic. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Hotel – Moby". AllMusic. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  10. ^ "Moby: Hotel". Blender (37): 124. April 2005.
  11. ^ a b c Brod, Doug (March 25, 2005). "Hotel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c Peschek, David (March 10, 2005). "CD: Moby, Hotel". The Guardian. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  13. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (March 20, 2005). "New Moby is all hooks, no heart". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Moby: Hotel". Mojo (137): 89. April 2005.
  15. ^ a b Mitchum, Rob (March 17, 2005). "Moby: Hotel". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 25, 2011.
  16. ^ "Moby: Hotel". Q (225): 121. April 2005.
  17. ^ a b Hoard, Christian (March 24, 2005). "Hotel". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 15, 2012.
  18. ^ "Moby: Hotel". Uncut (95): 97. April 2005.
  19. ^ a b Henderson, Eric (March 11, 2005). "Moby - Hotel". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on June 5, 2017. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  20. ^ Cowen, Nick (March 29, 2005). "Album Review: Moby - Hotel". Drowned In Sound. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  21. ^ Battaglia, Andy (March 29, 2005). "Moby: Hotel". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on September 16, 2018. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  22. ^ q on cbc (26 October 2009). "Moby on Q TV". Retrieved September 13, 2018 – via YouTube.
  23. ^ "theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Moby - The Arts Desk". www.theartsdesk.com. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  24. ^ Lindsay, Cam (June 16, 2016). "Rank Your Records: Moby Spontaneously Ranks His Nine Records". Vice. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  25. ^ "Argentinian album certifications – Moby – Hotel". Argentine Chamber of Phonograms and Videograms Producers.
  26. ^ "Austrian album certifications – Moby – Hotel" (in German). IFPI Austria. Enter Moby in the field Interpret. Enter Hotel in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen. 
  27. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2013". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Meilleurs Ventes de CD (Albums) en 2005". 20 November 2008. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  29. ^ "French album certifications – Moby – Hotel" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  30. ^ "Irish album certifications – Moby – Hotel". Irish Recorded Music Association.
  31. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Moby; 'Hotel')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Moby – Hotel". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Hotel in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]