by Zebra USER (177 Reviews)
December 2nd, 2005 | 35 replies

Release Date: 1999 | Tracklist

Moby is not your typical techno artist. If someone says to you that Moby plays techno music do not go thinking that Moby plays heavy beats and dance songs. I think that just about everybody that listens to electronic music is familiar with Moby, weather they like or dislike his music. Moby started out in 1992 when he released his s/t debut.

Moby is everywhere. He can go to a bubblegum electronic pop tune, to a groovy dance song, all the way over to a depressing ballad. Although Moby does this Play flows together very well and even though there are a lot of different styles and moods here Moby still keeps this album accessible. Moby throws in so many different grooves, moods, and rythms so that no two songs sound the same. Play is unlike any other electronic album out there, Moby is constantly keeping things fun and interesting. There are two main influences that this album has, there are the soft, beautiful melancholy tracks, and the more fun techno influenced tracks.

I personally prefer the more melancholy and moody songs featured here. Play can be depressing at times, a good number of these songs are ambient and soft. Even though I usually enjoy more upbeat and fun songs Moby plays more somber and soft music better than he does techno music. These songs are soft, ambient, smooth, and reflective. Sometimes the mellow tracks start out very soft and soothing, than they reach their climax and just explode. Moby doesn't get too complex, he keeps these songs fairly simple and doesn't add in a lot of difficult time signatures and instruments. This can be a bad thing, but I listen too Play because it is so reflective and beautiful. The music here is simple, but that is a good thing because Play is so accessible and easy to listen to. If you enjoy smooth, ambient electronic songs than Moby is a good artists for you.

The unfortunate thing here is when Moby trys to do more upbeat techno songs. While these songs are fun and entertaining they lose their effect quickly. Honey and South Side were my favorite tracks off here when I first picked up this album. The problem is that Moby plays depressing club techno so much better than he does dance and entertaining techno. While the upbeat tracks are not bad I think they ruin the album just because Moby does so much better when he plays more gentle and melancholy music. These songs are simple but groovy, and if you're in the mood to listen to something fun than this is were Play strives. The upbeat nature of these tracks are funky and zany, it is very effective if you want to dance to non repetetive heavy techno beats. Although Play's best moments are when Moby plays soft and soothing music, the upbeat tracks arn't half bad.

The vocals featured on Play are solid, but they're not a key to this album. On the groovier tracks the vocals are funky, distorted and fun. Moby experiments with the vocals on a few of the more upbeat tracks, but he doesn't make any major changes. Moby shows that he has a good voice on the depressing and ambient tracks. His voice is slow, mellow, and soothing. It gives the music a more sophisticated and gentle feeling. Moby has a very good voice and it works well with the music. Moby doesn't sing a lot on Play, this is a good thing because he doesn't overload the music with unneeded noise. Moby is very intelligent for doing this and he leaves the soft tracks alone and only sings when nessicary. Although Moby has an excellent voice, he doesn't use it overly often.

Overall I think this is a great experience for someone who enjoys electronic, house, ambient techno, and club music. I hear a lot of people raving about Play and saying how it is a classic techno album. While I think that this is a great album, I don't think it is a classic. The soft ambient tracks make this an excellent listening experience and while I dislike the more funky and groovy tracks they will bring you back for more. Moby mixes things up a lot, and no two songs on here sound the same. When I first listened to Play I loved it and couldn't stop listening to it. After a month or so I got tired of the album simply because the songs are simple and somewhat formulaic. Simple music is not a bad thing, but I don't think this is a classic just because some of these songs can seem cheesy and overly poppy. Play is a great album, but I don't think it is a classic. Through the groovy and funky hooks over to the soft and gentle ambient tracks Play is a delight for any electronica fan.

Overall Rating : 3.5/5

Pros: Ambient Tracks - Comination of electronica and techno - Simple melodies, easy to listen to

Cons: Dance songs can get annoying - replay value

Recommended Tracks:Porcelain - Bodyrock - Inside - My Weakness

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Comments:Add a Comment 
December 2nd 2005


Great review.

I don't own this cd, but I heard "Honey" off of it a few years ago, and I liked it.

Storm In A Teacup
December 2nd 2005


Good review, but I despise Moby's singles that I've heard so...

December 2nd 2005


Great review. I don't own the album (It is on my short list of albums to get, though), but I've heard a lot of clips from it in Barnes & Noble. My favorite tracks are probably "Natural Blues" and "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad."

December 3rd 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Oh, Zebra this review was everything a review should be. This album is sheer genius, in my opinion, easily earning it a spot in my top ten albums. There needs to be some more enthusiastic comments for this review. People, I kid you not, this album is sublime. The review was excellent, except for the fact that you underrated it quite a bit. It is an easy 5/5, but of course that's only my opinion.

December 3rd 2005


Album Rating: 5.0


Also, I think you wrote the word Moby about 346234235 times throughout the review.

December 3rd 2005


i dont own the album but ive heard it many times, mobys best album. his new music seems to be a bit too uncreative. im stil wondering how he could stand infron of a mic hold a guitar, wear a black suit and play that god awful new song. moby is a great musician though

December 3rd 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

Good review.

I like some tracks only. Tracks 1,2,3,4,5,7,8,11 are all great. The rest are all bad.

I would give this album a 4 IF it only had those tracks. As it is, with all tracks included, I'd give this album a low 3.

Some of you guys are saying My Weakness is one of the better tracks? To me, that is the worst song on the album... I would rate that particular track a 0 out of 5 cuz it shouldn't even be considered a song.

This is all my opinion only, of course! :D

December 3rd 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Lemon, My Weakness shouldn't even be considered a song? Are you nuts? I don't understand where you're coming from, and I don't see what's wrong with Rushing, Machete, Everloving, Inside, and Guitar Flute & String.

December 24th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, marvellous. More people should get into Moby instead of writing him off e.g. D***head Eminem. This album went straight to the top in Aus, its a wonderful album. Honey is the worlds most funniest song i swear, the video clip for it is hilarious. I like Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad, that made Moby as far as im concerned.

December 30th 2005


I only heard this in full the other day and it's much better than I expected. I'd heard the main 4 songs off it and liked them, but somehow I thought the rest would be the a lot of gospel singing put to more dancey, club type music, which I don't like. Maybe it was that Eminem song saying about Moby being Techno...

Anyway, now I've heard it I'll definitely be listening to a lot of the tracks. I really like the laid back feel throughout the album. The last 1/3 of the album stood out to me, and that was only with one listen.

The copyright label on the disc says 1992. What's the go there?

May 4th 2010


first bump in 5 years

good album

February 14th 2011


marvelous album , porcelain and natural blues brings me memories of my childhood

April 15th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

First four tracks will remain masterpieces, along with Natural Blues.

August 10th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

First four tracks are god like

August 22nd 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

some of the greatest songs ever made on here. "1" rating made my day. i lold

March 3rd 2012


Love this album, always puts my mood up. Porcelains is so fockin genious.

March 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5


March 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

"South Side" and "My Weakness" are Moby's best songs IMO.

March 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

he should make good albums again

March 3rd 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Agreed - the last two were so w/e

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