Moby

18: The B-Sides

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As MP3s and the constant rise of the DVD bring into question how relevant traditional albums are, Moby digitizes his loose ends and uses new formats to provide more than anyone can possibly ingest in one sitting. The CD in this set features Moby's leftovers from the 18 album, and they are pretty much what you would expect with the quality notched up a little. A bit less polished than his album tracks, they'll generally remind you of some other Moby tunes, only in demo form. "Soul to Love" sounds just like a more sedate "Go" and "String Electro" sounds like most of Play, only they're both pleasantly naïve and much less ambitious. "Landing" (with guest vocals by Azure Ray) and "Stay" make for moody bookends that sound the most complete and make for just enough of the poptacular Moby to hold you over till the next album. But if you've ever had a hankering to spend countless hours in front of the television immersed in the world of Moby, the DVD is the reason to pick up the collection. There's the whole amazing Glastonbury concert, a slew of audio tracks, a hilarious episode of Moby TV with a puppet named Mr. Fish (kind of an obtuse Triumph the Insult Comic Dog), and a whole lot more. Much of the smotheringly charming Moby's content might not sway Eminem, but it's hard not to marvel at a guy who can churn out so much quality material, have such a high profile, and show no sign of being pompous. Bonus DVDs have generally been electronic press kits with a couple of videos, but this one sets a new standard. Couple it with a CD that's so-so and call it a draw.

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