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Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

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  • Summary: Although techno artist Moby had been on the scene for almost a decade and had released five albums, his fame had chiefly been limited to his club hit "Go" back in 1991. 'Play' changed all that, however, garnering a sea of critical and popular acclaim for the artist. A mix of stylesAlthough techno artist Moby had been on the scene for almost a decade and had released five albums, his fame had chiefly been limited to his club hit "Go" back in 1991. 'Play' changed all that, however, garnering a sea of critical and popular acclaim for the artist. A mix of styles (including deviations into blues and gospel), 'Play' also has the unique distinction of having all 18 of its tracks licensed for use in film, television and advertising. Expand

Top Track

Waitin' On A Woman
Sittin' on a bench at West Town Mall He sat down in his overalls and asked me You waitin' on a woman I nodded yeah and said how 'bout you He said son... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. But though the blues and gospel and more gospel testify not just for song but for body and spirit, they wouldn't shout anywhere near as loud and clear without the mastermind's ministrations--his grooves, his pacing, his textures, his harmonies, sometimes his tunes...
  2. Unlike so many other cut-and-paste experiments, this actually sounds like music and not a clever science project.
  3. The most consistently lovely album of his career.
  4. In ploughing a unique furrow in pop music, he demands your enjoyment as much as your respect.
  5. A perfect blend of sacred and secular--exactly what Moby's been looking for all along.
  6. In short, it's fun and functional, yet disposable.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 20
  2. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. littleidiot
    Apr 17, 2004
    10
    Although someone could claim this cd would be worth buying enen just for some 4 or 5 great songs, it suprises for its depth and beauty and Although someone could claim this cd would be worth buying enen just for some 4 or 5 great songs, it suprises for its depth and beauty and makes for an all around very good album. Moby, Coldplay and U2 are IMO, for their fantasy and contribution to the music, the best music artists at the moment. Expand
  2. C.S.
    Jul 24, 2006
    10
    Undoubtedly Moby's best album. I still wonder how he hasn't managed to be as good on the follow-ups "18" and "Hotel" (18 is just a Undoubtedly Moby's best album. I still wonder how he hasn't managed to be as good on the follow-ups "18" and "Hotel" (18 is just a bit weaker than Play in my opinion; Hotel is worse) Expand
  3. Jul 25, 2018
    10
    At the turn of the millennium, electronica musician Richard Melville Hall, also known as Moby released his fifth studio album, 'Play'. By now,At the turn of the millennium, electronica musician Richard Melville Hall, also known as Moby released his fifth studio album, 'Play'. By now, expectations from Moby have been pretty standardized, yet something was different here. 'Play' feels organic, natural, despite its electronica based songs, it feels as if it was composed by nature itself. Sounds feel as if they are truly alive.

    No album speaks as well through sound like this one. Almost each song has at most two verses, which are repeated over and over again. But these verses are delivered which flawless execution. The unique approach here is that Moby often alters his vocals in unique ways, not by augmenting them, but rather splitting his own persona in various ways. The album starts bluntly with 'Honey' where we hear a weirdly sounding Moby singing about his honey coming back over and over again. Then on 'Find My Baby' his vocals create a more haunting and suffering personality. Then comes 'Porcelain', a song so natural that it is almost supernatural in the way it sounds. There are constant vocal hums and piano touches which deliver a beautiful harmony, a warm aesthetic. 'In my dreams I'm dying all the time', he sings over the vibrant instrumentation. The next song 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' continues with this bluesy undertone, but it is at its most powerful on 'Natural Blues'. These songs are tears-inducing. They do not follow a conversational pattern, they simply capture you through their ethereal and supernatural sound. In 'Everloving', Moby displays yet again an instrumental offering, yet it took me three listenings to this song to realize there is also a nearly mute humming coming from behind. Only by the penultimate track, 'The Sky Is Broken', Moby's actual unfiltered voice is heard, yet it is not singing, but speaking. He fully understands that the physical voice is meant for conversation, and that only the emotional one (or ones) should be saved for singing. His voice here is not only clean, but every single breath he takes and touching of the lips is heard.

    'Play' is one of the all time greats, a true masterpiece, which is why I am finding it difficult to explain. It awoken feelings which I thought could not even exist. It is almost as if Moby had these blues-electronica combination sound in his mind for years and all he did was went into the studio and recorded it without any experimentation. Indeed, while other masterpieces amaze by pushing the envelope, Moby offers us a divine, pure and existential sound by being patient and distancing himself from reality to a plane where emotions are embodied through sheer vibrations. This is more than music. This is effortless, artful exhibition.
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  4. Wendy
    Apr 4, 2005
    9
    Moby at his best!
  5. Feb 28, 2012
    8
    Groundbreaking might be a bit OTT, but this album really brought dance and ambience tracks to the mainstream in a major way. It's got a lot ofGroundbreaking might be a bit OTT, but this album really brought dance and ambience tracks to the mainstream in a major way. It's got a lot of great tracks on it, however there are a few tracks that just crawl along and don't really serve any purpose as far as I can hear. Every other track on this seems to have been either features in some film, tv show or advert. Fans of the X files will recognise "The Sky is Broken" and "My Weakness" from some of the later episodes. Natural Blues, Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad and Porcelain and instantly recognisable. Expand
  6. AlexK
    Oct 4, 2006
    8
    Any review that uses the word "advertising" to sum up this album (excluding this one, obviously) should be disregarded. To judge an album Any review that uses the word "advertising" to sum up this album (excluding this one, obviously) should be disregarded. To judge an album purely on a populist basis is unfair. While Moby brought his music to a much wider audience by licensing it to ad execs, much smaller bands and artists are doing the same using MySpace. Same intention, but simply different means and different scale, and Moby shouldn't be criticised for it. This is a seminal album, one that properly transcended genres and one which - rough edges and all - managed to prove that anyone with a sampler and a keyboard can't blame their equipment for making poor music. Expand
  7. AmberE.
    Jul 27, 2002
    0
    Moby proves that he sux. and Eminem Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See all 20 User Reviews