Moby & r & & r & Last Night & r & & r & 2 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & N & lt;/span & o, Moby is not his DJ name -- his parents gave him the nickname in honor of their long-lost relative Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, one of the most wildly inventive novels ever. You could see those clever genes in action on Richard Melville Hall's 1999 CD, Play. I loved that record, along with the follow-up, 18. The songs are both retro (with voice samples from old R & amp;B tracks) and modern (tons of synthesizers).
Like his great-great-great-great uncle, Moby peaked early. Melville's first books were his most popular. (Moby Dick was a flop when first published.) Moby's later work has been tepidly received, too -- his last disc, Hotel, was ponderous and boring. On Last Night, you can see he's trying to recapture his original glory with the dancefloor-ready "Ooh Yeah." But the last four tracks are deadly dull. (Somebody has too many synthesizers and too much time.) Moby still has some genius, but only in flashes.
-- TED S. McGREGOR JR.
DOWNLOAD: "Disco Lies"
Lost and Found
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & uscaloosa, Ala.'s favorite purveyors of fine, fine Southern rock are back in business. The Dexateens, on their fourth full-length release, sway confidently between the brash, dirty ditties and the sweet, endearing tracks of love and loss. The garage-y sound and regional realism of the lyrics make for great beer-drinking music, but no doubt the appeal will not be so limited.
The title track, in its repetitive wonderfulness, simplifies the formula for all rock music and reveals that less is always more, an obvious aesthetic choice in an album where only three tracks break the three-minute barrier. And while "Altar Blues" sounds momentarily like a Creedence song (never a good thing), the tale of the abandoned groom is set to serious finger-picking.
Singer-guitarist Elliot McPherson uses a nasal twang to keep things rough, but a certain sweetness permeates. Fans of Skynyrd and DBT take note: There's a new sheriff in town.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Download: "Lost and Found"