Local Wire


Culminating a decade of spiritually searching dance music and blistering punk rock, Moby made, arguably, the last great album of the 20th century with Play, a brilliant amalgam of old gospel samples and new studio wizardry. At a time when electronica's trendiness was ending, Play gave the throbbingly impersonal genre a soul — and a road map for its future. Many artists never capture the zeitgeist even once in their lifetime, which is why it's unfair to complain too loudly about Moby's post-Play stumbles, trying to mimic its success while also self-consciously branching out in new, but not entirely rewarding, directions. Similarly, Go, his new best-of, struggles with the challenge of balancing Play's obvious chestnuts with the less-familiar work before and after it. To handle the problem, Go's 16 tracks are arranged out of chronological order, linking the songs by their shared quest for personal transcendence. Floating between the pulse of the dance floor and the solemnity of the cathedral, these selections are almost uniformly excellent, arguing that even Moby's lesser albums had their dazzling moments. As for the bonus CD of other artists' remixes, it will only remind you why Moby still matters and why electronica doesn't.
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Tim Grierson
Contact: Tim Grierson