Moby: Play

Moby’s album Play has the dubious honour of being successful due to its licensing, rather than from radio exposure. This approach allowed the album to penetrate the background of culture through commercial and film before the songs became known on the radio.

I was introduced to Play the summer of 2000 by the only male friend I had at the time. The women we hung out with tended to prefer folk and punk music. Moby was seen at the time as part of the rave scene which they loved to remind him. I had always enjoyed electronic music, and was instantly hooked after listening to it with him.


  1. Honey
  2. Find My Baby
  3. Porcelain
  4. Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
  5. South Side
  6. Rushing
  7. Bodyrock
  8. Natural Blues
  9. Machete
  10. 7
  11. Run ON
  12. Down Slow
  13. If Things Were Perfect
  14. Everloving
  15. Inside
  16. Guitar, Flute & String
  17. The Sky Is Broken
  18. My Weakness

Play is a fusion of different sounds that meld into electronic poetic emotion. This visceral reaction to the music is what made the songs perfect for commercial licensing. Songs like “Porcelain”, “South Side” and “Natural Blues” are icon emblems from the turn of the millennium. The re-release of “South Side” featuring Gwen Stefani enjoyed more radio time than listeners could bear. The album is an evolution of Moby’s style, infusing and blending traditional samples and music with electronica.

For myself, Moby’s Play represents the last time in my life that I remember the world I grew up in. There is an invisible line in my past that exists at September 11th, 2001. The optimism that existed during the 1990s, specifically with the accessibility of computers and internet access post the release of Windows 95, crashed and burned with the tech bubble bursting into 9/11. Play captures the moments before the world tipped toward social failure.


Published by Richtig Haus

Haus of Art & Innovation. A place to find art, poetry, comedy, and free thought.

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