V2 Records (63881-27127-2)
Release Date: May 14, 2002
Moby's most recent album, 18, continues from where the Play album left off (but this album isn't simply a retread; it is able to take Play's sound to the next level). The first track on the CD (as well as the lead-off single), "We Are All Made Of Stars," is a bittersweet song that combines Moby's electronic sound with guitar. The second track (and third single from the album) is "In This World," a song with a "gospel" feel to it (musically, it incorporates strings, keyboard, and percussion). "In My Heart," the next song on the disc, features vocals by The Shining Light Gospel Choir; musically, it consists of piano and percussion. "Great Escape" is the darkest song on the album (both musically and lyrically); the only music you hear on this track is strings. The music of "Signs Of Love" consists of strings and percussion (with guitar kicking in around three minutes in). The next song, "One Of These Mornings," consists of piano and percussion. "Another Woman" features a sample of "I'm a Good Woman" by Barbara Lynn, with a bass, percussion, and keyboard accompaniment. Musically and lyrically, "Another Woman" is rather redundant; it probably would have been stronger if it was shorter. "Fireworks" is a keyboard and percussion instrumental that is short, sweet and to the point. "Extreme Ways" (the second single from the album) has strings, keyboards, and percussion which sound kind of "funky." "Jam For The Ladies" features vocals by Angie Stone and MC Lyte, and is definitely the most upbeat track on the album. This song features a sample of "Wherever You Are" by Mic Geronime, in addition to percussion, bass, and "record scratches." "Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)" samples "Sunday" by Sylvia Robinson, and features piano, percussion, and strings. "18" is a keyboard and string instrumental; this track would have been stronger if it was a little shorter. "Sleep Alone" sounds like a 1970's soul song the way the percussion, piano, and bass are arranged. "At Least We Tried" also makes me think of 1970's soul with the arrangement of the percussion and keyboard; lyrically and musically, this song is a bit redundant, and it would probably be stronger if it was shorter. "Harbour" features Sinead O'Connor on vocals, and has a guitar and percussion sound that is reminiscent of the early 1970's; this song is a little redundant musically. "Look Back In" is a percussion and string instrumental that is short, sweet, and to the point. "Rafters" is an upbeat bassline with keyboards and percussion, and basically features humming for vocals (but the lack of "true vocals" does not distract from the song). "I'm Not Worried At All" also features The Shining Light Gospel Choir, with a percussion and bass musical arrangement tinged with a 1960's soul sound.
Overall, this is a good album, although I think the tracks could have been arranged a little differently (most of the last half of the album has a "sameness" to it, which makes it hard to listen to after a while). For me, this is definitely a "mood album," and I have to be in a certain mood in order to listen to it in its entirety. Those people who enjoy Moby's more upbeat, danceable songs probably wouldn't enjoy 18 very much, but this is an album that a Moby collector should have in their collection. However, I'm not sure I would use this album to introduce someone to Moby's material (for that, I would probably use either Everything Is Wrong or Play).
(reviewed by Lesley Muir on December 9, 2002)
All songs on this disc written by Moby except:
"Great Escape" written by Richard Hall, Orenda Fink, and Maria Taylor
"Another Woman" written by Richard Hall and Barbara Linda Ozen
"Jam For The Ladies" written by Richard Hall, Michael McDermon, Angela Stone, and Lana Michele Moorer
"Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday)" written by Richard Hall and Sylvia Robinson
All songs on this disc produced by Moby