Review - Play

Artist: Moby

Label: V2
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Play

Once he was America's rave-anthem king, and now he's America's Fatboy Slim, leaning on old vocal samples (in the public domain and therefore royalty-free) to find his bluesy, big-beat sound on "Play." Moby's MO is to fashion his tracks around vocal snippets from preblues warblers, going back to the dusty choruses of old 78s (listen to the song "Why does my heart feel so bad?" ) to find his sample-enabled soul.

There are brighter, if quieter, spots than the catchy lead track and single "Honey," but they all follow a similar format. The epic ambient lilt of "Porcelain" finds Moby stepping up to the mike, but it's the clipped-off sample voice singing "woman" that provides the hook. Thus inspired but smart enough not to sing too much (he uses sampled vocals for good reason), Moby crafts a few of his own tech-blues explorations to round out the album. But when Moby breaks ranks with his sampler brethren and actually plays electric guitar, the results are flat. To his credit, "Play" shows that Moby's finally thinking in album-length arcs. And for all its simplicity, there is a likability, if not an almost-in-spite-of-itself profundity. Play on.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.