V2 Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


What an album! - Amicable and brilliant. This album reminds me of a four-wheel drive SUV bought at a rock-bottom price. This album can please anyone, of any music taste. When Play was released, Moby was kind of an underground artist / producer. His earlier albums like Animal Rights enjoyed very little popularity and success. Even Play was a sluggish starter. It had its own unique sound: disco (nothing extravagant) songs, with sampled vocals from songs of antediluvian age. In a way, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Play was meant to be an 'underground' album.

Well, Play ultimately turned out to be one of the hottest dance albums of the last decade. How then could a supposedly offbeat album become such a humongous success? The answer is its universally appealing sound. The music is so uncomplicated and unpretentious that you fall in love with it, the very first time you listen to it. Dance music has never been so simple and humble. It seems as if techno has finally found an answer to Bob Dylan.

None of the eighteen tracks on Play extend beyond the four-and-a-half minutes length - the length of a standard 'single' song. Though Moby has experimented, as far as the inclusion of 'retro' sound-bytes in some of the songs of the album is concerned, he hasn't gone overboard with the experimentation-bit, as far as the musical complexity of the album goes - simple, but richly melodious tunes, is the formula behind every song on Play.

Play is an album, which can be listened to, whilst one is going on a long drive. It also fits snugly under the rubric of those albums, which are supposed to be taken seriously. Also, it is a fantastic party-album. In addition, its songs enhance the appeal of a good visual - as is evident by the fact that almost all the songs on Play have found themselves as background scores for a good number of commercials. Adding to all this, the well-written essays included in the cd booklet, written by Moby himself, and the enlightening quotes of famous people, also included along with the essays, come as perquisites to the quality numbers in this album. Considering its well-mannered nature, Play is a 'concept' album's greatest nemesis. With a mixture of style, substance and versatile appeal, and of course the interesting reading material on the cd booklet, Play is indeed a four-wheel drive SUV, as far as music is concerned.

Rating: A-

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© 2003 Vish Iyer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of V2 Records, and is used for informational purposes only.