Release Date: 2001
Record label: v2
by: peter naldrett - u.k. correspondent
There can be no doubt that Play, the album that shot Moby to international fame and fortune, is a modern classic. It's an astonishing collection of inspirational dance music that has yielded a string of hit singles and nearly every track has been used for a film or TV commercial, meaning that it has been etched on the public's mind for three years. Whooops of excitement could be heard, then, when it was announced that the fun-loving, vegan Christian was releasing a Play DVD, giving everyone with a player and a half decent TV the chance to experience Moby on a different level.
But while promising much, and indeed delivering plenty, Play on DVD could be a great deal better. The plus points include a six-set performance taken from Later With Jools Holland that shows how stunning and well-worked the Play tour was, and a section of videos from Play's singles, some of which are visually better than others.
There is also the interesting opportunity to link the DVD up to a computer and re-mix Moby tracks and a self-indulging 20-minute documentary "Give An Idiot A Camcorder" which Moby made while on tour and sees him carry off a crackingly comical Scottish impression. But the word that spoils the DVD is repetition. There is a wealth of musical talent waiting to be mined on Play, yet the DVD barely touches the surface and milks the best-known moments too much. "Porcelain" is played twice on the Jools Holland set and in the video section there are two different videos for "Bodyrock," "Natural Blues" and (yet again) "Porcelain."
To top this off, a megamix CD that comes with it and is also featured on the DVD is a monotonous and wasteful voyage into the world of Moby remixes that could and should have been awesome rather than a labour to listen to. Bringing out albums and video collections on DVD is definitely the future of music, and Moby is one of several artists pioneering the transition. But Play is probably the best album so far made available on DVD and it really deserved to be given better treatment. We wanted a video for every track and more live action. Instead, we got a home movie and a retro-style megamix. And some repetition.