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
(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
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.
i mean i don't feel as negatively toward Moby as Eminem, but yeah... not a fan
Do.... do I like Moby?
just elevator music - it's the sort of thing people who "don't really do music" would have playing at a party. 2/10
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.
Absolute banger. SO many good tracks.
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
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.
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.
The songs sound one-paced and samey.
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.
I liked it. I didn't expect to...but it was fun.
Toda una sorpresa. Pedazo de disco. Ritmos elegantes y muy bien construídos
Beautiful, interesting, vibrant. Good creative work music, can be ambient or the main event. Techno and soul influences side by side. A new favorite.
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.
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
Go on, Moby lad.
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.
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
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.
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.
This album was like readymade songs for ads.
Starts with a bang. Aside from one or two more bangs, this is ass.
A disappointing start to my 1001 albums daily listening. Nostalgic middle of the road easy listening.
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.
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.
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.
Transformative sampling essentially started here and in this time. But it's difficult to go back and listen to, even through rose colored glasses.
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
Somewhat enjoyed but disjointed and there's so much better elsewhere.
Nobody obsessed over this album the way Moby obsessed over Natalie Portman.
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.
“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
Gross creepy weirdo whose music sucks.
Every song is a loop of the first seconds
The soundtrack to a thousand tedious dinner parties. "More flan Miriam?"
Uninspiring. Sounds like a bad Bourne Movie soundtrack.
Seminal album from a strange, strange man
Love a lot of this album!
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.
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.
Excellent album. It’s a regular on my in car playlist. Sensational.
Bring Sally up!
Awesome, just awesome
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
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.
Transcendent electronic house jams. A fantastic era for the genre, I love the sound of the late 90's.
An amazing electronic album, well worth the title of classic
One of my favourites. Perfect.
Varied, chill, relaxing
Oh yeH this rocks
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.
Chill but danceable at the same time. I just love the vibe of this album so much.
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.
Every track is the best it could be.
I was planning to give this a 4. Until I listened to it again. And again.
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.
Was pleasantly surprised by this one. All the songs were interesting and innovative. Not really my normal genre but really good.
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.
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.
Very moody. I loved it!
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.
Ótimo album! Música eletrônica com pitadas de soul!
Moby always AMAZING! <3
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.
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.
Didn't realize how good this album was..
This album has significant musical and sentimental impact in my life. Beautiful blend of modern dance and blues music.
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.
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.
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.
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!
wonderful album. Brought me back to high school when I owned the CD and used to play it in my car.
Really good album. Every song is so different but great. Definitely adding a few to some playlists
Defined the genre
Toch meer piano en gitaar dan ik verwachtte. De singles kende ik al, maar de rest van dit album is ook top!
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.
Cracking album. Brought techno and sampling to the masses. Cover art 5/5
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.
Every song is incredible and it’s 2 hours long. Sounds like it could’ve been made today. A masterpiece
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.
A great album with what are now classics. It's hard to overstate the influence this album has had on modern music and culture.
Moby's ambient expressions that are so hauntingly beautiful. Should be in everyone's library.
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.
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