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Play

Moby

1999

Play

Album Summary

Play is the fifth studio album by American electronic musician Moby. It was released on May 17, 1999, through Mute Records internationally and V2 Records in North America. Recording of the album began in mid-1997, following the release of Moby's fourth album, Animal Rights (1996), which deviated from his electronica style; Moby's goal for Play was to return to this style of music, blending downtempo with blues and roots music samples. Originally intended to be his final record, the album was recorded at Moby's home studio in Manhattan, New York. While some of Moby's earlier work had garnered critical and commercial success within the electronic dance music scene, Play was both a critical success and a commercial phenomenon. Initially issued to lackluster sales, it topped numerous album charts months after its release and was certified platinum in more than 20 countries. The album introduced Moby to a worldwide mainstream audience, not only through a large number of hit singles that helped the album to dominate worldwide charts for two years, but also through unprecedented licensing of its songs in films, television shows, and commercials. Play eventually became the biggest-selling electronica album of all time, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide. In 2003 and 2012, Play was ranked number 341 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.52

Votes

6677

Genres

  • Electronica
Reviews
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Mon Apr 26 2021
2

(listening to the blues) pretty good. but i wish 5 seconds of this got looped and put over a shitty drum track and stock keyboards for 2 hours

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Fri Dec 10 2021
5

I listened to this multiple times to just to make sure I hadn't lost my sense of smell and still enjoyed it as much as I initially thought I did. It seems that those who have any issues with this album are simply bent out of shape due to the fact that Moby licensed EVERY song from this album for commercials or television shows or any other medium that would turn a profit for him. The story goes Moby did so because this album was met with such a thud upon initial release, and he needed some way to promote the album and you know, make a living. There are at least six songs here that are absolute bangers. But Moby's naysayers nitpick and suggest he was nothing but a curator, collecting samples from his favorite sources. If I'm interested in hearing how the sausage was made, it's usually because it tastes so good and I can't get enough of it. Go ahead and enjoy the shit out of this gem. My most pleasantly surprising 5 so far.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
2

i mean i don't feel as negatively toward Moby as Eminem, but yeah... not a fan

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Mon Feb 15 2021
4

Do.... do I like Moby?

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Thu Sep 17 2020
1

just elevator music - it's the sort of thing people who "don't really do music" would have playing at a party. 2/10

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Fri Oct 16 2020
5

I love everything about the story of this record, from Moby thinking it was going to be his last work before he had to get a real job to the fact that it took months to catch on. It's just bangers front to back. Best track: Porcelain.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Absolute banger. SO many good tracks.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
2

How to Be a Hitmaker in 5 Easy Steps, by Moby: 1: Sample black vocalist. The older, the better. 2: Add rave piano. Guitars if feeling adventurous. 3: Add sweeping synths. 4: Repeat. 5: Patent technique before Fatboy Slim can. Don't get me wrong, the process produces some good music on occasion, but Moby spends practically half the album doing so, to the point that it ends up sounding like a cynical, AI-synthesized version of Endtroducing... that was created by a car company's ad department. And the less said about the album's other half, the better. Key Tracks: Bodyrock, Natural Blues

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

While Moby is not as bad as Fatboy Slim or others like that, this just isn't my kind of music. Just feels repetitious and stale.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Quintessential Moby

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Gran Disco

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Moby, Moby, Moby. You sexy little cunt. This record soundtracked the greatest period of my life. I wasn't used to having periods, being male, but one day Play by Moby came on thr wireless and my minge just would not stop gushing with blood. Since then, I've had 7 different incidents, each involving the music of Moby and a lot of vaginal bleeding. Buckets of the stuff.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
2

The songs sound one-paced and samey.

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Sat Apr 03 2021
2

Incredibly repetitive, though clearly purposely so. Also it's like 2 hours long, I didn't listen to most of it. It wasn't particularly interesting to me, but wasn't particularly bad either.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

I liked it. I didn't expect to...but it was fun.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
5

Toda una sorpresa. Pedazo de disco. Ritmos elegantes y muy bien construídos

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Beautiful, interesting, vibrant. Good creative work music, can be ambient or the main event. Techno and soul influences side by side. A new favorite.

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

So many songs, so many car commercials! Moby certainly wasn’t the first (or last) to sample old blues & gospel artists but he did it better than anyone else. Probably due to the fact that in addition to being a "sampler” he was (and still is) a composer and multi-instrumentalist. The non-blues numbers aren’t as strong but still have a nice texture and are easy to listen to. With all the mileage I got out of some of these tracks in my spin classes I have no choice but to give it a 5.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Moby was good. So many of these songs were in our subconscious and we didn't even know it. I guess that's what happens when you're good at writing music with long cultural teeth and licensing it

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

Go on, Moby lad.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
4

mad how something that was so inescapable and the biggest thing in existence when it came out can end up so forgotten when its no longer the zeitgeist.

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Mon Jul 05 2021
3

One of the first electronic records I ever listened to, so there is some nostalgia here, but it really is just easy listening music for 1999

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Wed Mar 16 2022
3

Moby a connu une ascension assez singulière dans l'industrie musicale. Il a pendant très longtemps fait de l'électro dans sa chambre sans jamais réussir à percer jusqu'au jour où, dégustant une planche mixte charcuterie-fromage en terrasse d'un café, il vit débouler Eminem qui lui passa une soufflante d'une violence inouïe et totalement imméritée puisque les deux hommes ne se connaissaient pas. Très marqué par cet épisode, Moby s'en servit cependant pour lancer sa carrière avec l'album Play. La pochette de ce dernier témoigne d'ailleurs du phénomène pavlovien suivant : lorsque Moby entend le nom d'Eminem (ici diffusé par le talkie-walkie sur la gauche), il sursaute de manière ultra-spectaculaire, ce qui a tendance à amuser ses amis.

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Tue Jan 17 2023
3

3.5 + To me Moby comes across less as a musician, and more as a reupholsterer. He chooses old African-American spirituals, as one might find a beautiful old sofa. He hammers the old melodies into shape, puttying over any small imperfections. He then applies some new material, slick beats crisp and bright (like new fabric on an old sofa), to make the original content marketable to a contemporary consumer. It's a professional and precise product but it feels cold and inauthentic.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
2

This album was like readymade songs for ads.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
2

Starts with a bang. Aside from one or two more bangs, this is ass.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
2

A disappointing start to my 1001 albums daily listening. Nostalgic middle of the road easy listening.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
2

This really brought back the beginning of the lights for me. But I would like to leave it there, if only for what I know about Moby today. My guess is that it sounded new when it came out, but how seems like tidied up elevator music.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
2

I remember liking this when it came out. I think maybe this album introduced "electronic" music to a lot of people at the time. Just doesn't hold up.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
2

Ehh I remember when this guy was huge for a minute. I liked Southside back then and I still do. Gwen's vocals really make that song. Porcelain is okay I guess. The rest is mostly annoying. A lot of lackluster blues samples on repeat. Moby can't sing. The music is generally forgettable. I always kinda wanted to like Moby. Apparently he has some punk roots. I know he covered Mission of Burma and that wasn't terrible. Anyway this is pretty much a dud. Could and will listen to Southside many more times in my life though.

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Sun May 29 2022
2

Transformative sampling essentially started here and in this time. But it's difficult to go back and listen to, even through rose colored glasses.

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Mon May 30 2022
2

God this has not aged well at all. I remember loving it at the time, but it’s actually just aural wallpaper and not in a good way

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Tue Jun 14 2022
2

Somewhat enjoyed but disjointed and there's so much better elsewhere.

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Sat Jan 21 2023
2

Nobody obsessed over this album the way Moby obsessed over Natalie Portman.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

Not really something I'm going to listen to on purpose ever. There are some snippets of soul/blues with decent beats/samples, but all and all there isn't a lot of substance. I'll never understand people's fascination with Moby.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
1

Rubbish

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Mon Aug 23 2021
1

“Play” by Moby (1999) Desperately disparate, this commercialized collection of tracks is like spike proteins racing through the cultural bloodstream, looking for a capillary to clot. As it was peddled to movie makers and product marketing teams, the listener hears something oddly familiar and asks, “Didn’t I hear that on a TV ad?” And the answer is probably “Yes”. “Play” is not so much an album, but a project. The only unifying theme here is the serendipitous whim of the artist. His general method is to take sampled snippets of old recordings, repeat them over and over, and then add electronic beats and textures. It suffers from the same malady as most techno productions. Once the innovations have been picked up by others, it is no longer interesting as music. Compositionally, it is too repetitive. The only movement in each track is in the adding of layers of electronic mood sounds. And without lyrical or melodic support, these progressions are merely random. What he does on “Natural Blues” is a sacrilege. He takes a classic sample of blues and renders it in a perfectly unnatural way. The vocal sample (the a capella spiritual “Trouble So Hard” by Vera Hall) is not in perfect pitch, which is fine if it doesn’t clash with other tones. But then Moby adds perfectly tuned chords and fills that only serve to accentuate the flaws of the original sample. This should be illegal. Anyway, fall in love with this ‘music’ at your aesthetic peril. 1/5

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Fri Oct 29 2021
1

Gross creepy weirdo whose music sucks.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
1

Repetive

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Fri Jan 28 2022
1

Every song is a loop of the first seconds

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Tue Jun 14 2022
1

The soundtrack to a thousand tedious dinner parties. "More flan Miriam?"

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Tue Jul 12 2022
1

Uninspiring. Sounds like a bad Bourne Movie soundtrack.

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Seminal album from a strange, strange man

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Love a lot of this album!

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Thu Jul 15 2021
5

It could potentially get 5 stars for Porcelain alone, but the album is also undeniably strong, innovative and enjoyable. Even the instrumentals like Everloving hold their own if a very long 18 track release. Fantastic.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
5

A really great album. Electronica with lots of different samples from hip hop, gospel, R&B. Really surprised me, and one of my favorites so far.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

Excellent album. It’s a regular on my in car playlist. Sensational.

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Bring Sally up!

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Thu Feb 04 2021
5

Awesome, just awesome

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

Became background, although I used to listen to this album a lot. A few tracks surprised- sounded a bit like Prodigy/Underworld. Also ‘Guitar flute and strings’ raised a fun chat

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Fabulous album - 9/10. I figure it is called play because it swings between elecronic genres like crazy. Pop, techno, house, hip hop, trip hop, and experimental. The sampling is excellent and the album is a must have for anyone who loves electronic music. It is so big, I'm sure it can convert people who don't like electronic music. It truly is a modern album despite being really old now. It feels as fresh as the day it came out - rare that one can be ahead of their time and popular in their time as well. Amazing record.

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Tue Apr 13 2021
5

Transcendent electronic house jams. A fantastic era for the genre, I love the sound of the late 90's.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

An amazing electronic album, well worth the title of classic

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Mon May 31 2021
5

Classic

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Sun May 09 2021
5

Also classic

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Sat Jun 19 2021
5

One of my favourites. Perfect.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

Pretty interesting!

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Thu May 13 2021
5

Varied, chill, relaxing

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Wed May 26 2021
5

Oh yeH this rocks

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

Lots of ambient tracks and the well known Moby hits from early on. Good work music. Front end is a bit more energetic, back end is much more chill lo-fi. Double album, lots of good tracks, definitely good background music.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Chill but danceable at the same time. I just love the vibe of this album so much.

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Wed Sep 01 2021
5

Love this.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
5

This is an amazing album! I first got acquainted with the work of Moby. It has never happened before that I liked absolutely all the songs on the album. Even my favorite bands. But here everything is different: all the songs in the album are different in style / genre, and even to the 18th song the brain does not have time to get used to it and gets more pleasure. Despite the lack of genre boundaries, the album leaves a full-fledged aftertaste and self-image as a phenomenon. And I want to listen to more. Not selectively, but a whole album! It is endlessly interesting to listen to. In a word, "Play" is the best thing that I have met in the musical field lately.

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Every track is the best it could be.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

I was planning to give this a 4. Until I listened to it again. And again.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

divertente

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

magnificent!

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

Absolutely love this mix of Blues and Beats. Wonderful use of sampling to be more creative than usual in this genre. Stand out Tracks for me: "Porcelain" "Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad" & of course "Natural Blues" and well worth it's place in this list.

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Tue Nov 23 2021
5

Love Moby

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

Was pleasantly surprised by this one. All the songs were interesting and innovative. Not really my normal genre but really good.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

All time classic. Got played so much it was in danger of being over-exposed but after a while away from it, it's just great.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

If I had to list out the most important albums of the 2000s I likely would not have thought of this one. Listening to it now it’s pretty undeniable how pervasive this music was during that decade. The bad take is this is the sound of car commercials. Realistically, this is the sound of cool for this era and everyone wanted to be associated with Moby. This album is so clean and so catchy it’s no wonder every song got put under any commercial or movie that would pay for it. 20 years later I think you have to call this the point when ‘selling out’ stopped being a thing.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Very moody. I loved it!

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

Best Song: Find My Baby. All the vocals looped throughout were excellent. Worst Song: Porcelain. Overall: Excellent collection of songs with great sampling and mixing. Track ordering is sometimes weird though, resulting in heavy tonal shifts between tracks (e.g., the transition from Rushing to Bodyrock). Last third of the album also slows down considerably.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Ótimo album! Música eletrônica com pitadas de soul!

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Moby always AMAZING! <3

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Sun Jan 30 2022
5

What an album! Only knew the song "Extreme Ways" before this so this was a revelation. Such a variety of sound and feeling across the record but it melds so well. I'll definitely be listening to this more.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

I know I’m rating it in a biased fashion, but this album is so damned beautiful, start to finish. It was my lone companion on a nighttime bus ride from Pittsburgh to Detroit circa January 2001.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Didn't realize how good this album was..

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

This album has significant musical and sentimental impact in my life. Beautiful blend of modern dance and blues music.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

I'd spent years studying Alan Lomax so to hear his recordings sampled by Moby and become a humongous album cheered me enormously - bringing so much good music to the electronica pretentiously inclined. And it was an amazing album in too many ways to list.

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Wed Feb 09 2022
5

Great use of samples especially of Lomax collected blues music. The music is upbeat and driving which prevents the album from dragging which is necessary for an album that is about an hour long. I enjoy the use of blues/RnB samples with an electronic and string overlay. It adds a different depth of emotion to an already emotional genre. The strings particularly add an expansiveness with a tinge of melancholy.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Yep, still love this album. Loved the mash up of Black folk/heritage music and dance music, and ambient/chill tracks like Everloving. I know this album isn’t for everyone, but it definitely has a place in my sonic landscape, even after 20+ years.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

Play was one of my favorite albums of the late 90s! Loved seeing Moby performing it in concert even more. And then sometime in the 2000s I forgot about it. But I’m glad I got reunited with it. It flows so effortlessly, bouncy one moment to deeply mellow the next. It was a soundtrack for a snapshot in time that could be reimagined as a snapshot for today. Love it!

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

wonderful album. Brought me back to high school when I owned the CD and used to play it in my car.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
5

Really good album. Every song is so different but great. Definitely adding a few to some playlists

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Tue Apr 05 2022
5

Defined the genre

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

Toch meer piano en gitaar dan ik verwachtte. De singles kende ik al, maar de rest van dit album is ook top!

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Sat Apr 16 2022
5

This album is quite nice, very nice. Wow. This album is quite nice, very nice. Yeah. This album is a bit repetitive, perhaps. Wow. But just some lyrics, though. Just some. This album is quite nice, very nice. Wow. This album is quite nice, very nice. Yeah. This album is a bit repetitive, perhaps. Wow. But just some lyrics, though. Just a few, babe.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

Cracking album. Brought techno and sampling to the masses. Cover art 5/5

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Wed Apr 27 2022
5

I don't know how to explain how much I love this album. Every song has it's own "soul" but they all work so well together too.

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Wed May 04 2022
5

Fantastic!

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Sun May 15 2022
5

Classic

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Mon May 16 2022
5

Every song is incredible and it’s 2 hours long. Sounds like it could’ve been made today. A masterpiece

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Wed May 25 2022
5

This is such a beast of an album. There's not a single bad track. The whole thing slaps end to end. How is that possible?! It's a perfect mix of mainstream rock traditions and club electronica concepts. The samples are all purposely chosen and perfectly used. The beats are concrete, they're so solid. Everything is so layered that, even on a second, third, or thirteenth listen, there's more to explore and enjoy. It doesn't get old. It's just... damn. So good.

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Mon May 30 2022
5

A great album with what are now classics. It's hard to overstate the influence this album has had on modern music and culture.

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Mon Jun 06 2022
5

Moby's ambient expressions that are so hauntingly beautiful. Should be in everyone's library.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

rating this today i'd give it a 3/5, but having been a late teen when it hit and knowing just how big and influential it was, i give it a 5. this album was massive and a full on game changer. soooo many copy cats have caused the shine to dull a bit, but man, in my head, it's still an all time great.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

Fan-fucking-tastic jfc Clear anticipation of much of the synth and vaporwave of 2010s, really sick downbeat electronic stuff. Great use of vocals and general atmosphere

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Sun Jul 17 2022
5

Wonderful album

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