Moby
Play


5.0
classic

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
January 16th, 2005 | 81 replies | 11,896 views


Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist


Moby was one of the most important figures in electronic music in the 90s, and on of the most controversial. While other techno artists were strictly electronic, Moby took techno and disco beats and fused it with heavy distorted guitars, punk beats and sometimes, blues samples. Moby's music drew equally from pop, dance and movie scores. What resulted was some brilliant music, but was often criticised by dance DJs. Moby's music made dance and techno more accessible to a mainstream audience. Moby released his first album (considered by some to be his best) in 1992.

Moby's music wasn't the only thing about him that was often made controversial. Moby's lifestyle consisted of his often radical Christian beliefs and his vegan lifestyle. For those who don't know, a vegan is someone who niether eats, wears or uses anything of any kind that comes from animals. In his album "Play", Moby writes essays in the booklet. These have nothing to do with the music, they simply explain his beleifs and why he chooses to live the way he does. One thing that I really liked that he said was at the end. He said "The essays don't really relate to music, so if you hate the essays, you might still like the music, or if you hate the music, you might still like the essays. But perhaps in some bizzare twist of fate, you might end up liking both." I know I do.

In 1996, Moby totally abandoned techno and made an Alternative Rock album with "Animal Rights". In 1997, he returned to electronica with the album "I Like To Score". In 1999, Moby released his album "Play", the album which turned him into a genuine pop star. The album holds the record currently for being the only album in which every track on it has been used for some type of advertisment.

For me, the album is basically broken into two parts. The first part consists of the more radio friendly tracks, some are really beautiful and some are rock/rap type songs that are cool and hip, the ones you'd expect to see on every second commercial. The second part is mainly synthesiser instrumentals, with other instruments added. The is next to no sung vocals on these tracks, and the majority of vocals are simply spoken in time with the music. Moby plays all of his own instruments on his records.

This album was number 341 on Rolling Stone's Greatest 500 Albums list

Honey - The two first songs in the album use blues samples. There is a piano sample and a drum beat and Moby's vocals are over the top. Then some turntables come in and a bluesy sounding acoustic guitar. A pretty cool track, fairly recognisable. Towards the end a guitar with a wah pedal comes in some wierd electronic effect. Then the song goes back to what you heard at the start for a few bars. After those bars, everything comes in a full and another vocal sample in the background. Overall, a pretty cool song.
4/5

Find My Baby - Starts with just Moby's vocals, then the instruments grdually enter. This is the second song that uses blues samples. There's some cool stuff in this song, electric guitars, drums and turntables. There is also a female backing vocalist which adds to the song a lot. There aren't really any lyrics in the song besides the one line that he sings. Overall, pretty cool song.
4/5

Porcelain - This is a very relaxing song. It starts out with a synthesiser into and then a nice drumbeat comes in. Then there are some vocal samples and an incrediably beautiful piano melody. The piano doesn't play while there are vocals, but it does a sort of call and response thing with the vocals. The chorus consists of the piano melodies with all the other instruments and vocal samples. In the second verse, there are no instruments at the start but then they come in playing some different sounds to before and sounds really beautiful. The piano does some block chords a bit later in the song. The song ends instrumentally with the synths and the really nice piano melody. One of the highlights of the album and one of the most famous.
5/5

Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? - One of the most beautiful songs on the album. Starts out with some vocals and a piano melody. A bit later, some synths and drums enter the song. The amazing chorus features a female singing words I don't unserstand (I'm not sure if they actually are words). I can't really put into words how beautiful and amazing this song is. It's hard to describe, but I think I'll be safe saying that it is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard and is on a short list of 30 or so songs that have managed to make me cry. This is one of those songs that can help you through a hard time in life. My second favourite off this album. This song was featured on an advert for the movie "Black Hawk Down". Fits perfectly.
5/5

South Side - A more upbeat song. My second least favourite off the album, but that's a personal thing, it's still a great song. This song features some really cool drumming, a really funky beat. It also features some cool synths and some really cool guitar parts. This is one of Moby's songs that fuses techno and modern rock. An example is that you'll hear some extremely electronic sounds and those sounds will be responded to by an electric guitar solo. Pretty cool.
4/5

Rushing - Starts with just drums and a female vocal sample. Then the synths and drums come in. Much like "Porcelain" or "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?". A bit into the song, one of the most amazing piano melodies on the cd comes in. So good. The song is basically just a female vocal sample, drums and one of the most amazing piano melodies. A bit into the song, it drops back to just piano and and hi hat which sounds totally amazing. The song is actually quite repetetive, but it's hard to notice, because the piano is so great. Really good song.
4.5/5

Bodyrock - This is a really cool song. Similar to South Side. It sounds out with some rapping and guitar harmonics. The chorus is cool, it's a mix of a synthesiser, guitar with a wah effect and rapping. This sounds cool. A little later, the song drops and a piano melody plays a bit. Then the verse part of the song is sung with a wah pedal guitar. The songs has quite a few ups and downs and is very uplifting. The melodies are all really cool and the rapping is extremely effective. This song was featured on an advert for the movie "Ali". It works with the movie's ad really really well. One of the highlights of the album and it's probably the most popular off the album.
4.5/5

Natural Blues - When I first got this album, I didn't like this song. The reason was the vocals. I still don't like the vocals, but I came to realise that this song is really cool. The way the song is mixed is good. The vocals are in from the start and a light synth is under them. The drums and piano come in later and some synths are progressively added to the song. The best part by far of the song is the instrumental part which just has a synth doing chords over drums. The song drops back to nothing but vocals and piano. The drums and synths are later added. All up, the song is amazing, though you, like me might need a while to get used to this song to appreciate it fully.
4/5

Machete - This is the most techno song on the album. This is the song you'd be most likely to hear in a dance club. The song is nearly fully electronic and it's pretty cool. There is some electronic effects and then the drums and vocals come in. The song doesn't really change until the end where there is a synth doing some nice chords over the electronic effects. There are some vocal samples and wierd noises as well. Good song, but it doesn't really do a lot for me.
3.5/5

7 - Not really a song, just a 1 minute instrumental that doesn't really need to be there. Not bad, but it doesn't really do much for the album
2.9/5

Run On - A cool song, nice piano and cool vocals. The only other thing that this song has are some drums and low volume synths. The lyrics are good and are related to Moby's christian beleifs. It's actually one of my favourite songs lyrically on the album. Here are the lyrics:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moby
Lord God Almighty let me tell the news
my head got wet in midnight dew
great God i been down on my bended knees
talking to a man from galilee
michael spoke and he sound so sweet<
i thought i heard the shuffle of angels' feet
He put one hand upon my head
great God Almighty let me tell you what He said

[bridge:]
go tell that lonesome liar
go tell that midnight rider [???]
tell the gamblin', ramblin' backslider
tell them God Almighty gonna cut 'em down

[chorus:]
you might run on for a long time
run on, ducking and dodging
run on, children [?], for a long time
let me tell you God Almighty gonna cut you down

you might throw your rock [?], hide your head
work in the dark with your fellow men
sure as God made you rich and poor
you're gonna reap just what you sow

[chorus] x3

some people go to church just to signify
trying to make a date with a neighbor's wife
brother let me tell you just as sure as you're born
you better leave that woman alone
Good lyrics and good musically song. There are also some turntables which add a lot to the song. It's good stuff.
4/5

n Slowhis short instrumental interlude marks the beginning of the second, more serious part of the album. The song is just drums, synth and piano. That's all there is to the song, not much else to say about.
/5

Things Were Perfect pretty bare song. Starts out with bass and some drum machines. The vocals are just spoken and the it gets really old, really quickly. This is my least favourite track off "Play". It's not horrible, but I've never really found much about this song that I like. The last few seconds are the best.
2.8/5

Everloving - Starts with a pretty fingerpicked guitar melody. The whole songis intrumental, aside from some hummed vocals at the start. Basically it's the fingerpicked melody and then the drums, piano and synths adding to the song. There are some really pretty melodies in this song. Then the piano comes in with a great melody and some synths backing it up. It ends with all the instruments dropping back with only the guitar melody left. A really beautiful song.
4/5

Inside - Pretty much just a synth instrumental. Based around two chords with a straight electronic bass drum on every beat of the bar. About 2 minutes into the song, a piano comes in and plays some melodies around the two chord synth stuff. This song is rather repeteive, but you don't really notice it. Pretty nice song. I like it a lot. You'd probably find this song on a chillout compilation. It's around this track, or the one before it that you'd begin to notice that the mood of the album has changed. Obviously this would only happen if you listened to the album all the way through.
4/5

Guitar Flute and String - Very beautiful song. It has a lot of emotion in it and makes you feel the same way it does. As the title suggests, the song is an instrumental featuring a guitar (classical), flute and string sounds. The strings aren't really heard until the end though. The fingerpicked guitar melody serves as a backup for the main melody that the flute plays. Really beautiful.
5/5

The Sky is Broken - This is another song that feels fairly bare. This song however, is great. It has piano and drums in it and some electronic effect in it. It also has spoken vocals, like "If Things Were Perfect". The piano part of this song is the biggest highlight. Towards the end of the song, a synth comes in. Extremely sad melody, it sounds like something you'd hear during a funeral in a movie. It sounds so beautiful, despite it's sadness. The synth then leaves, the instruments drop one by one and then the song finishes. Really good.
5/5

My Weakness. This song is seriously the saddest song I have ever heard in my life. Coincidentally, it's simulatniously the most most beautiful and the most moving. This is the first song I have ever heard that still makes me cry, or at least feel like crying every time I hear it. I cannot explain it's power or beauty, but it is one of the most moving pieces of music ever created. This has got to be in my top 3 songs of all time. It's the kind of song that will make you sit down and evaluate your life. Then you will want to go out and change the world. The song starts with an African choir singing in an African language. A piano comes in along with a quiet synth, which sounds beautiful. When I heard this, I thought I was nearly in heaven. I didn't know the song had more to offer. The loud synth comes in, and it totally got me. I am crying right now listening to it. No matter how many times I listen to this, I will get chills and it will make me feel sad. Everyone has to listen to this song right now, because it's just that amazing. I hope it has the same amazing and beautiful effect on you as it has on me. This song doesn't even deserve to be rated, because it is so good. But I'll rate it for you. This song may not be for everyone, but it certainly is special and I think everyone should listen to it a couple of times. I think most of you will be able to appreciate it.
10/5

This album is the most emotional album I have ever heard that is electronic for the most part. This album will change the way you look at music and maybe even like me, it will change your life. The small amount of tracks that I don't like don't even matter. They get overtaken by the awesome tracks, which there are many of. I understand that this album may not be for everyone, but I'd go this far in saying that no record collection is complete without this album. If you don't like electronica, that's ok...I didn't really like heaps of it until I bought this record. Download a couple of the highly tracks and see if you like them. If you like them, don't hesitate to buy this album, it's a must.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Dimes Make Dollars
July 2nd 2004



241 Comments


Easily one of the best albums of the 90's (I'd even say one of the best of the past 25 years). I bought it after hearing "Natural Blues" (still one of the most amazing songs ever), and I was surprised to find even better songs (the first two in particular). Very good review too, one of the better ones I've seen.


Waaaay too many parentheses.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 2nd 2004



2125 Comments


I agree. This album has recently taken OK Computer's spot on my Top 10 albums list. It's soooo good. Best 5 dollars I ever spent.

hybridofsound
July 2nd 2004



131 Comments


Good review, I don't like the track by track type of review but you still did it well. This album is played constantly at my cafe and it's few things that keep me sane while i'm working. I really enjoy the first half of the album but the second instrumental part doesn't really excite me. Maybe it's because i've never closely listened to this album.

3.75/5

TMA
July 5th 2004



15 Comments


Meh, Moby started to suck once he released Play. Anybody who thinks this is good REALLY needs to check out older stuff lik Early Underground. Moby was so much better then.

YDload
July 5th 2004



1207 Comments


Don't forget that this album is on the Rolling Stone 500 list somewhere. I don't know why; I don't even like Moby. Don't ask me why, I guess I'm just close-minded.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 5th 2004



2125 Comments


Have you given him much of a chance? I had to do that before I liked him.

Badmoon
July 5th 2004



384 Comments


Wow! Fabulous review :thumb:

I really like this album, rented it from my library a few months ago

This makes me want to write a review :p

*opens wordpad :cool: *

manuscriptreplica
July 6th 2004



431 Comments


This is an excellent album. 'Run On' and 'South Side' are my favourites, I haven't really given the ambient tracks a good listen, so I will now.

5/5. Great review as well.

YDload
July 6th 2004



1207 Comments


[QUOTE=br3ad_man]Have you given him much of a chance? I had to do that before I liked him.[/QUOTE]

Of course not; I'd probably like him then. But I've got a long "to-do" list of albums to get, so this one's still on the back burner until someone I know personally gives me a glowing review of it. Sorry, but that's the only way it works for me (Had to wait like that for a Mars Volta recommendation too).

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 6th 2004



2125 Comments


Just download some stuff off it then, try the 5/5 tracks.

mexicanfloydian
July 7th 2004



165 Comments


I bought it a when it first came out. It was one of my favorites.
I haven't heard it in a while. From what I rememeber this album is a 5/5.

ZEROthirtythree
July 7th 2004



234 Comments


I'm sure I would love this cd. I should buy it sometime.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 7th 2004



2125 Comments


I think you would too. Buy it!

moderaterock222
July 8th 2004



121 Comments


I got this album a long time ago and loved it, i just played it constantly so that the disk itself broke. I havent listened to it in a long time but sometimes i feel the need to. I actually think its a pretty underrated album because people overlook a lot of the songs and just go for the popular well known songs, but some tracks on here inspired me to be a musician. The first time i heard 'everloving' i was gobsmacked by its beauty and the vhords for that song might just have been the first thing i ever figured out on guitar.

Great review too:thumb:

Bartender
Emeritus
July 8th 2004



826 Comments


[QUOTE=TMA]Meh, Moby started to suck once he released Play. Anybody who thinks this is good REALLY needs to check out older stuff lik Early Underground. Moby was so much better then.[/QUOTE]

They're somewhat different styles of music though, so it's possible to like Play and not his earlier stuff, or vice versa.

I really like this album, though my favourite song is definitely Natural Blues. Could anyone compile (or find) a list of which advertisements each track was used in?

Very good review by the way.

The Ashtray Girl
July 8th 2004



108 Comments


Dude, what a coincedence, my dad bought this album cheap today, and now I've read this review I'm not sure he'll ever see it again...

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 8th 2004



2125 Comments


^^^
Thanks a lot

[QUOTE=Bartender]They're somewhat different styles of music though, so it's possible to like Play and not his earlier stuff, or vice versa.

I really like this album, though my favourite song is definitely Natural Blues. Could anyone compile (or find) a list of which advertisements each track was used in?

Very good review by the way.[/QUOTE]

The only one I can think of is "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad". It was on an ad for "Black Hawk Down".

br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 8th 2004



2125 Comments


Actually, I have some more:

"Bodyrock" was on an ad for the movie "Ali"
"Porcelain" is in the movie "The Beach"

Bartender
Emeritus
July 8th 2004



826 Comments


I'm fairly sure Porcelain was in an advert for a car as well, unless I'm thinking of a different song (by a different artist).

TMA
July 8th 2004



15 Comments


[QUOTE=Bartender]They're somewhat different styles of music though, so it's possible to like Play and not his earlier stuff, or vice versa.[/QUOTE]

True, true. I'm just sick of people lableing Moby as "Techno" when all that they've ever heard was the new stuff. Play and 18 were nothing even close the real "Techno", where as stuff like Early Underground IS more like the real stuff. Actually, its more like old school dance music. But bottom line, best Moby song ever: Party Time, good stuff.



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