Either Moby (right) has never seen Magnum Force, or he was in the lobby ordering tofu when Clint Eastwood, as Inspector Harry Callahan, delivered one of moviedom's most trenchant statements: "A man's got to know his limitations." The performer born Richard Melville Hall has long chafed at the restrictions of the electro genre, but artistic stretches such as 1996's Animal Rights, a misbegotten hardcore effort, have been painful in the extreme. While Hotel, his new release for V2, isn't quite as disastrous, its attempt to establish him as a song-based popster (a mission inspired by the unexpected popularity of "We Are All Made of Stars," from the 2002 album 18) falls way short of success. "Beautiful," which sounds like the fourth-best track on a Fatboy Slim album, represents the main CD's top moment -- yet a beguiling ambient disc included as a Hotel bonus demonstrates that he can still make worthy music when he sticks to his strengths. Moby, who's joined by Charlie Mars at the Fox, where he put on what he's described as "the worst show of my life" back in 1993, is a devoted anti-violence advocate. Even so, he could clearly benefit from a sit-down with Dirty Harry.
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