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4.6 out of 5 stars172
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 18 October 2006
Every artist or band has a moment in time where they reach the pinnacle of their talent and produce their finest never to be bettered album. `Play' was that moment for Moby.

Re-assessing the album several years on away from the hype and backlash that surrounded it's commercial use and appeal, in my view this album sounds even better and perhaps more relevant than it did in 1999. Whilst one must never confuse quality with popularity in this case the popularity (10 million copies sold to date) is justified.

If you choose to buy this be prepared to be inspired and moved by inviting sound scapes, innovative blues sampling, and a feeling of being let into the private world of Moby when he reportedly recorded `Play' in his apartment.

Highlights for me would be Honey, Find my baby, Porcelain, Why does my heart..., Bodyrock, Natural Blues and Everloving but the others are also too good to be dismissed.

Released against a backdrop of late 20th century cheesy techno trance chart `dance' music, this mature body of work stood head and shoulders above most of its genre at the time, and it still does. The album manages to strike a successful balance between being intimate and delicate towards the end of the album, and soaring and celebrationary towards the beginning. The production has not dated and the sampling and song writing is inspiring and emotional.

Now the hype has died down and the backlash has been all but forgotten, `Play' by Moby has stood the test of time to sound even better several years on from it's initial release, and is probably one of the most significant and recommended albums of the last 10 years.

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on 29 October 2000
The eleven B-sides collected in this re-issue are some of the best music ever released by Moby. Though mainly downtempo they have a lot to share with the atmospheres that featured in Moby's early dance stuff. They also form a pretty homogenic body of work that is extremely enjoyable when listened to as a whole.
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on 15 February 2002
I wasn't aware of 'Moby' till I had heard 'Porcelain' (track 3) for the first time during a TV channel's coverage of the Euro 2000 Soccer tournament. I found myself lost in the beauty of this track and had always wanted to know who it was by. It turned out that not only was he, Richard Melveill Hall a.k.a. 'Moby', responsible for this work of genius, but several cuts on TV trailers I had come across were also of his doing.
If you're one of those who's worried of wasting your money on an album which contains a few tracks you've heard but you think you havent a clue as to how the rest of the album will shape up, then I'll let you know that you will definately NOT be disappointed.
I think this is his 4th album and he has worked his way up to perfection I assure you.
'Play' starts off in a very bright, easy-go-happy mood with the first 2 tracks, which are a sign that you're in for an exciting ride. Track 3 (Porcelain) is a masterpiece you'll find playing in your player many a time.
However the mood of this album does change several times and the second half of the album is very distinct from the first. Over the course of this album, the tracks gradually become more mellowed out and ambient and this I find very special as you start with a party beat and end in a peaceful harmonious state of bliss.
Out of the 18 tracks, track 11 (Run On) is PROBABLY my favorite although I love the way track 9 (Machete) gets my adrenalin pumping with its fast paced beat.
Basically, I fell in love with this album ever since i purchased it and I was surprised how well it was put together. It really taps in deep down at heart if you listen to it all the way through, then you'll want to feel the same way again and again and will NOT be disappointed.
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on 11 May 2000
I am not familiar with Moby's other work (apart from the Twin Peaks single a few years back) and bought this on the strength of the fantastic "Natural Blues" - I was then delighted to discover it also featured "Run On", which I had heard on the radio months and months ago and loved.
It's difficult to know how much we should credit Moby for much of the best music here - after all, we should really be singing the praises of the gospel and blues stars who provided the samples - but he still manages to take the blues idiom and make it relevant to today. He gave it a welcome kick up the backside and brought it to a wider audience - a lot like what Fatboy Slim did for Cornershop, or even what Kennedy did for Vivaldi!
Being a tuneful, mainly instrumental piece, "Play" is this year's (and last year's) "Moon Safari" by the wonderful Air, and at times things can get a little bit wearing and bogged-down, ranging between metallic breakbeats and neo-prog rock every so often. But usually it works tremendously: as well as the two aforementioned tunes, there is "Find My Baby", "Porcelain", "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad" and "Everloving" - all of which are very memorable and hummable yet not over-repetitive either.
I read that Moby used recordings made by some guy called Lomax, who went around the American South and South-West between the 20's and 50's building a huge collection of gospel, blues and country music by undiscovered local bods. It's a very romantic idea and I hope it's true - if Moby is no more than an arranger on the outstanding tracks here, then we can still give him ample credit for that.
Oh - and his sleevenote essays are quite good as well!
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With hindsight it's now possible to see `Play' (and its follow-up `18') as the zenith of Moby's creative output. Nothing he composed/recorded prior to 1999, or subsequent to 2002, has been so memorable, so enduring and timeless.

The talented, mildly eccentric and disarmingly honest New Yorker hit the bull's eye with this collection, songs almost everyone recognises due to the clever marketing strategy of offering the tracks to TV advertisers to guarantee wide exposure. But even without the album's famously innovative marketing the songs stand up on their own as beautiful repeat-play numbers; techno with a soft-edge, techno with genuine emotion, music which moves you. Songs like `Porcelain', `Why does my Heart feel so bad' and `Natural Blues' are for most fans the star tracks, but almost every track is good and many are gems.

Probably everyone reading this has `Play' in some format already. If you don't, you can now buy it in confidence that it's proved itself a true classic, and you'll still likely be playing these songs (probably in some yet-to-be-developed format) in 20 years' time.
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on 20 April 2001
I have wanted this album for some time since hearing a few trcks at a friwend's house. However, i did not realise what an exhiliarating experience this would be. Honey is the perfect introduction to the album with its slightly up temporythem it is perfect to wake up to, or in fact do anything to. The album escalates through different styles until its conclusion in the bittersweet, My Weaknes. This album feels as though it was not ment just to be listened to but to be understood. I think that it is because this album feels so seriuos that it is not recognised for what it is. Pink Floyd made a similar mistake. The music became so serious that people stopped enjoying it as music.
This an excelent choice of music for anyone of any taste. There is a wide range of style here andi enjoyed listening to this immensley. This record has succeded in knocking Lemon Jelly off the top of my record pile.
This album is a quintessential masterpiece. Buy it now.
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on 7 December 2000
On first hearing this, I thought - wierd. I only knew the beautiful song 'porcelain', which remains a favourite. I listen to it quite regularly, and find much to enjoy. I noticed how two songs, although very different stylistically, are actually very similar. I wonder if he realised this. 'Bodyrock' is an inredible song too, and along with 'Porcelain' and the general good feel of much of the rest, it is a worthy musical innovative pop CD of the recent years. I've found Moby interesting ever since his song "Everytime you touch me" was released years ago. Not too many people got into it I think, but on the tribal gathering CD, it rocks. Moby claims to be christian, and this certainly deals with the light and the dark in a techno computer age way. And what a way. Play away.
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on 22 August 2000
This album has a huge variation of music suitable for people all ages, you may listen to it in the car, you also may have it on in the background of a shop or even a restuarant. This album is a classic, unmissable! Im only 17 and my dad of 50 is always pinching it from me, great selection, great variation!
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on 6 March 2000
Sensational. For me, this is what contemporary music is all about. Moby pushes forward the boundaries - in a similar way to Leftfield's or Massive Attack's finest tracks - to produce brilliant music of our time.
For anyone put-off by the term "chill-out music", I feel its use is a misnomer here; the listener is left feeling so alive by the poignancy, aching beauty and, at times, aggression of this album. Every track is worthy of merit and several masterpieces are thrown in (Try: 'Porcelain', 'Why does my heart feel so bad?', 'My weakness'...). Moby weaves an inexorable spell.
The work of a genius, and the finest and most innovative album I've heard in a very long time. Sublime.
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on 8 February 2001
I was first introduced to Moby's music on a music channel in Germany and the song was 'Why Does My Heart Fell So Bad' and since then, i have loved the music! This is one of my favourite songs on the album but nothing can compare to the tranquility captured in 'My Weakness' which, in my opinion is the best song on the album! This album has changed the way I listen to music! I now apperciate different styles, all of which have been used on the album, and listen to them more carefully to find new things each time, which I always do when listening to this album!!! I love this album and would strongly advise anyone who apperciates modern music to listen to or buy this!
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