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4.6 out of 5 stars
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 1 August 2000
If it was possible, Play would get 6 stars. But I'll start with my one gripe about the album. You would have heard almost <all> of the songs somewhere before. Personally, I think the tracks on Play are far too over-used on adverts and trailers. But besides that, it's a brilliant album that you'll never tire of listening to. I bought in in May (I had heard only Porcelain on an advert) and still play it more than my many dance CDs put together.
It starts upbeat, psyched up, with Honey and Find My Baby. Then instantly calms down for the over-used, but peaceful and fabulous, Porcelain, and the inspiring Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?. A yo-yo of 'calm' and 'furious' ensues with tracks 5-13, most notably Natural Blues, which is fantastically uplifting. Everloving is a personal favourite, making you feel really calm, yet happy, with a fabulous piano piece 62 seconds in.
The rest of Play is very instrumental, with one low point: Guitar Flute & String. This track is simply too depressing for my tastes, and have listened to it only 5 or 6 times. Play ends on a high note with the great The Sky Is Broken (which peaks very late) and the inspirational, gospel-like My Weakness, which also climaxes rather late on.
Play has a track for every mood, from depressed (track 16) to peaceful (3), from in love (14) to downright happy (5), which makes it real value for money.
It's just a shame that all of the tracks appear as backing in adverts and TV trailers. Yes, I love Porcelain, but I don't want to hear 15-second clips everywhere I go. The sheer beauty of it (Porcelain) is enhanced by 'The Beach', but Carol Vorderman introducing <another> holiday programme seems almost blasphemous.
Moby could have split it into two halves, but it's a good thing he didn't. Buy it, listen to it once. You won't be impressed with a lot of the tracks, especially if you're new to some of the music genres(like me) he's slipped in here. But listen to it ten times, and you're positively in love with most tracks.
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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 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 3 May 2000
When I purchased "Play" going on the basis of "Porcelain", I was expecting a heavy, timbral album, full of laid back tracks which demand the attention of the listener and challenge and stimulate any within earshot. What I actually recieved was something not far short, but with a range of musical styles, all bracketed in a kind of "ambient dance". Tracks such as Porcelain, Rushing and the absolutely superb My Weakness obtain a high quality of chill-ness (ok, maybe not actually a word...) and certainly are fantastic tracks if *maybe* slightly repetitive. But, in contradiction, the album also contains the soulful gospel numbers "Honey" and "Run On", using a fantasticly simplistic piano and sampled lyrics which are great tunes, they are sparklingly original, and I was excited and intrigued to be listening to them for the first time. Also Moby has harked back to a more upbeat past with "Bodyrock" and "Machete" also two great tracks which add some spice and beat to the album. Unfortunately Play falls short of greatness because of a certain repetitive quality, "South Side" is in my opinion the worst track on the album and, to a certain degree, lets it down somewhat. But tracks such as "Natural Blues", the fantastic build up of "Inside" and of course the beautiful "Porcelain" make this album a definitive purchase, but just short of the "most fantastic album ever" award, but then, most albums are.
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on 27 July 2015
Both album and b-side companion in one handy boxset, although the tracks from the singles seem a little soft, and songs like 'Arp' are missing. You would probably do better to by the singles yourself or the DVD set for the remixes.
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on 29 January 2014
Why has this release only attracted a handful of reviews? It is an absolute, nailed on classic album, great tunes and as ever, very cleverly mixed and performed by Moby.

I can only assume everyone already owns the CD and has not got round to downloading it yet. what are you waiting for?
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on 9 November 2005
Moby is talent personified.
The idea is incredible, taking blues recordings and surrounding them in electronic scenery.
It's incredible how they get into your head. They cant get out of there.
I can't stop thinking about them.
I'm not a big fan of electronic music, but this does it for me. (Except the rap)
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on 3 April 2000
Another fine offering from the sublime Moby. Having transversed various musical genres from metal to techno, with such tack titles as 1000(in reference to bpm believe it or not) Play has wormed its way to the top of my own playlist (deliberate) The cd graduates from a very strong start, up tempo and rythymic, elegant samples littering the soul of his music. Onwards through the cd and by Down Slow things are taking an ambient feel though not descending into the whales humping minimilist style. An ideal way to bring on a relaxed atmosphere. Playing all his own instruments its easy to see that Moby is very talented(check out the first line of text on the sleeve notes!)and he amply applies his skill to the crafted peice of work that is Play. With he judicious use of samples lifted from The Shining Light Gospel Choir and The Landfordaires he gives a timeless feel to very contempory tracks. Live performances could prove tricky though due to the age of some samples. Favourite tracks must be South Side, Honey and Bodyrock.Southside tells of a group of friends passing across a city to 'have it out' with a rival gang, the warmth installed in the lyric "now with my friends, weapons in hand"applies great juxtaposition. So if you are in any doubt at all get it anyway I know you wont be dissapointed(metalheads need not apply)Jim
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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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