On "Hotel," Moby ditches the samples that made his 1999 album "Play" a favorite of the ad-agency set and returns to his roots in synth-infused rock/pop. The resulting 15 tracks mostly fall flat, tripp

On "Hotel," Moby ditches the samples that made his 1999 album "Play" a favorite of the ad-agency set and returns to his roots in synth-infused rock/pop. The resulting 15 tracks mostly fall flat, tripped up by insipid lyrics. The mood veers from the romantic melancholy of "Where You End" and "Forever" to a hint of spirituality on "Lift Me Up" to the vapid come-ons of "Very" and "I Like It." Though Moby's production shifts into high gear after his disappointing 2002 set "18," the lyrics seem ripped from a teenager's journal, and his regular-guy vocals can't make them compelling. It is telling that the most engaging songs are instrumentals ("Homeward Angel" and the final hidden track) and a drowsy, plaintive take on New Order's "Temptation" with guest vocalist Laura Dawn. A bonus disc with 11 more instrumentals confirms Moby's longstanding talent for saying something with music alone.—JM