A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Moby's hit album Play climbed back onto UK and U.S. charts months after it was first released, partly because of exposure that resulted from licensing. Play was the first album where every song was licensed; songs were used in movies, TV, and commercials. Some of the tracks have sensual grooves, and a few have suggestive lyrics, including lines such as "Rock the body/ Gonna make you freak" on "Bodyrock," and "Hold your mouth close to mine" on "Machete." "Run On" has a line about adultery. In "Natural Blues," a dead body is discovered, and "Machete" says, "Took the needles from my arms and put them to the sky," which could be considered violent and/or drug-related.
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What's the story?
Moby's June 1999 release PLAY had been a moderate success for the electronica artist, but the album re-entered the UK and U.S. charts late that year, and into 2000, after the songs were successfully licensed, one after another, to films, TV shows, and commercials for American Express and others. Play became the first album ever to have every song licensed in some fashion. Musically, this collection blends some unusual elements -- gospel and blues vocal samples, for example -- with the electronic grooves for which Moby is better known. Lyrically, the songs touch on themes of religion, loneliness, romantic love, and dancing.
Is it any good?
Play offers a variety of rhythms and feels, some more effective than others. Fans who love Moby for his more ethereal, groove-laden music will find tracks to love on Play; other listeners will be hooked by his inventive combination of gospel vocals with electronic sounds and beats. Either way, Moby is a masterful collector and creator of dance sounds, and Play is one of his most unique and varied albums.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Moby's use of his fame to further causes he believes in, such as the Humane Society and moveon.org. Do you think artists should use their popularity to inflence listeners' political views?
Moby's fame comes partly from the way he successfully licensed his music for commercial use. What do you think about the use of popular music in commercials?
Do you value the creativity of artists who incorporate samples into their music as much as music where all the instruments were played by humans?