Moby has won over critics and electronic music lovers while tirelessly touring behind Play for the last 21 months. Such an extreme amount of time in the public eye is bound to make anyone burnt out, let alone allow one to have time to work on new material. If Moby’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show was any indication of his energy level, it’s still running quite high, but as for time in the studio, that’s is 100% out of the question.
The next best thing is a special edition album that fans will want to swoop up called Play: The B-Sides. All of the songs on the album were written for the Play album, released in June 1999, but Moby didn’t find them to quite match the rest of the themes on the disc. Instead, the tracks were released sporadically on CD singles, with this collection marking the first time they will all be compiled on one disc. Compositions like “Flower” and “Memory Gospel” pick up in the African vocal and rhythm tradition as found on the Play track “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?” “Sumer” has a slow piano based introduction and keyboards are synchronized into the song’s melody. “Running” is one of the faster songs on the album and seems like it would make the perfect accompaniment to either a car commercial or a car chase scene in a suspense movie. The electronic but jazzy “Whispering Wind” is the only track with a substantial amount of lyrics, but the words are difficult to understand by computer-enhanced vocals. The song conjures up an almost surreal image within the mind of the listener and is the most soothing track on the album.
The disc seems to be destined for success, as is anything Moby will release in the future. There is a catch however. Fans will only be able to get their hands on a copy by buying Play in which Play: The B-Sides is attached in a special boxed set packaging. The disc has been in stores since November 7, but only a limited number have been made. For those that already have Play in their collection, strongly consider buying the boxed edition for this special premium CD and give the extra copy away.
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/moby-playbsides/