After his failed attempt on the loop of punk attitude (Animal Rights), Moby comes back to his roots with Play, thus proving that he is still capable of playingMoby.
Though the album couldn't start in a worse way with its quasi-cover of "No Diggity", one quickly moves back to terra firma as Play resurrecting Everything is Wrong's recipe for success, a melodic techno with dreamlike harmonies to which he adds a twist. The vocals, murmurs or incantation of the past are replaced here by black voices from rap to gospel, blues and tribal. And to our surprise (one remember the painful dance tracks on Everything is Wrong such as "Every time you touch me" and "Bring back my happiness"), one ends up being carried away by the gliding loops where sampled voices emphasize the hypnotic effects, keeping the beat like a drum pad.
While "Rushing", "Natural Blues" and "If things were perfect" surf the satin waves of "First Cool Hive" and "Anthem", "Inside" easily compares to "God moving under the face of water", and "machete" flirts with the disco hit "I feel love" (Ah yes, just like on the latest Underworld). Moby also opens to other influences as witnessed by the disturbing Cypress Hillish "Down Slow", "7" close to Primal Scream's "Trainspotting" as well as "Bodyrock", one of the strongest track of this album, with its nervous wah-wah nerveuse à halfway between his version of the "James Bond Theme" and the unavoidable Fatboy Slim. Finally, some accoustic ritornellos to sing around the fire.
Play, far from being revolutionary (except for the cover showing a half-naked Moby!!), features some moments that, if in osmosis with a picture would provoke the same thrills as the final scene of the movieHeat. The album is really an interlude that sets the record straight regarding his come
back to a scene where he was one of the pioneers.