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Moby - Play DVD   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Tuesday, 06 July 2004

The Cash-in Continues...

And so to the longawaited "Play" DVD. We've already had the album, the limited edition 2CD box set, a three year tour, eight singles, 422 advert tie-ins, and finally the warts n all DVD, with a remixes CD. Despite all this, can I just say, Please Moby, we love ya and that but can you please go away and make a new record?

You've done enough. And even I'm sick of seeing ya face because its been everywhere the past two years. And I'm bored of Play now. It's a great, and was for a long time, under-rated album, but in everyone's CD player now.

So does the world need a Moby DVD? Well, sort of. It's very very good, but in all honesty, some of what is there is a bit unimaginative, isn't it?

The videos themselves, all 10 of them are excellent and thought provoking, pondering the meaning - or meaninglessness - of work, death, dancing, friendship, parenthood, fame, and just about anything you can think of. Certainly better, more provoking than any video fare I have seen in a long time, barring some of Radiohead's mid-period stuff.

And arranged in such a fashion as to tell a sort-of-narrative stream of consciousness musing on the nature of well, anything you can think of.

There's no shortage of extras as well : a 20 minute "Live At Later" off the BBC. Sadly, it's a flat, straight transfer of a flat and uninspiring TV broadcast. Even the unusual material on the broadcast ("Hymn", "Everytime You Touch Me", for example) has been trimmed without reason (there was enough space on the disc for the full 60 minutes show anyway) in favour of two live versions of "Porcelain" - "Porcelain" makes a total of 8 different appearances on this DVD. Overkill. I'd much have preferred 'proper' live footage - such as MTV's excellent V2000 broadcast. And full length at that.

Then To "Give an Idiot A Camcorder" - a sweet, interesting and irritating documentary. It's just not long enough, and, whilst giving an interesting in sight into the tedium and insanity of touring is also full of Moby faking ridiculous, and slightly patronising accents, and giving into base stereotypes. It might have seemed like a joke at the time, but it looks a bit, well, awkward now. Though the cliched mock-interviews are frankly, scathing in their treatment of the kind of heartless journalists who treat the gift of being able to write about music for a living as a chore.

I'd personally would've liked to have seen something longer, with more insight. And I'm not taking "Meeting People Is Easy" here.

Finally, the Moby Megamix. Also available on a seperate mix CD with some copies of the DVD, it's a frankly uninspiring mix CD that - whilst airing some of the more obscure Moby mixes - pummels all the individuality of the mixes and the man into a 62 minute 4/4 thudfest. It also fails to show off Moby's generally excellent and  under appreiciated mixing skills, as demonstrated on his "Everything Remixed : Evil Ninja" and "Mixmag" releases. The uninspiring fractals-by-numbers graphics hardly helpmatters.

So what is it? It's better value for money, in terms of sheer mileage than near enough any other DVD I've seen. There's more variety in it - but what it gives us is glimpses, when I'd liked to have seen the full picture - a full live show, a full documentary, and for that, I'd happily trade the superflous MobyMegaMix ....

Overall - 5/5 for trying, 4/5 for content


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