MixedThe StrangerWith seething sarcasm, Michael Azerrad has catalogued a plethora of music-critic clichés ... Some of Azerrad\'s pet peeves mirror my own while others come off as picayune beefs that sometimes seem derived from taking a phrase too literally ... Mediocre music almost always begets mediocre criticism. That there is a superabundance of both is a truth that will always be with us. There is nothing harder in music criticism than to write something interesting about music that elicits neither elation nor derision ... Maybe—just maybe—lackluster music receives the shabby criticism it deserves.
PositiveThe StrangerPorcelain [is] a moving, vivid portrait of his turbulent journey in the music biz from 1989 to 1999, as well as life as a short, balding, vegan, Christian lapsed alcoholic in New York City during that decade ... Moby’s descriptive powers...are descriptive and affecting. His intricate explanations of how he created tracks like 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' combine nerdy technical specs with poetic insights. Even if you don’t care about Moby’s music, you’ll get a detailed glimpse into a Manhattan existence that is virtually unrecognizable today ... his lucid, witty writing style and keen eye for absurdity make Porcelain one of the better musician autobiographies. Its attention to detail and recall of dialogue are remarkable.