This article originally ran in 2014, but we’re dusting it off for Moby’s birthday on September 11th.
This week, Moby returns with his 15th studio album, Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt, which takes its name from a quote that appears in the classic Kurt Vonnegut novel Slaughterhouse-Five. In celebration, we decided to re-open the Brooklyn-turned-Los Angeles composer’s exhaustive repertoire and carve out our top 10 favorite songs. What we stumbled upon was a list that we’ll be streaming again and again. Everywhere.
Here are Moby’s 10 best songs.
10. “Raining Again”
Album: Hotel (2005)
The rare, oft-forgotten ambient side of Hotel trumps the actual disc that surfaced in 2005. Still, “Raining Again” still feels like a triumphant win for the pop-oriented DJ. It’s the slide guitar for the win, and when it slices through at 00:56, the track erupts in this odd assembly of folk, gospel, rock, and electronica. This is as close to organic as you can get with modern electronica today. Well, maybe. — Michael Roffman
09. “Feeling So Real”
Album: Everything is Wrong (1994)
Don’t forget that Moby’s roots trace back to grungy clubs. His 1994 single “Feeling So Real” remains a swift kick to the head, the sort of frantic jam still used to great effect by DJs in dire need to wake up the Monday morning crowds. Rozz Morehead’s banshee wails spin around like Sonic the Hedgehog as the breakbeat hardcore splinters and ricochets like a rubber bullet in a metal room. He hasn’t carved out chaos like this since. — M.R.
Album: Wait for Me (2009)
“Don’t let me make, the same mistake again,” Moby sings over tumbling percussion and desolate guitars. His 2009 Top Star-earning album, Wait for Me, was criminally overlooked by critics and fans alike — and by proxy so was “Mistake.” Although it starts out with his trademark synth strings, it’s the needling fretwork that marries best to the crushing lyricism. There’s a dark mystery to the way the guitar just spirals off into the abyss. — M.R.