March 21, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it a B-

Unlike his multiplatinum breakthrough, Play, Moby’s new album, Hotel, is sample-free, revealing just how ordinary his synth-pop has grown. A bonus disc offers an hour-plus of ambient instrumentals so ethereal they practically dissolve into the ether. Among the requisite ecstatic chants and icy chill-outs, however, slinks an appealing cheekiness: He follows a New Order homage with a somnolent cover of that band’s ”Temptation,” and the big-chorus soft rock of ”Slipping Away” would have been the best track on the latest R.E.M. record.

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