When Play became a breakout hit in 1999, Elektra readied a basic trainer for listeners new to Moby's practically trademarked style of down-tempo house baroque. Ranging from the Move EP, his major-label debut, to the soundtrack-inspired I Like to Score, Songs 1993-1998 trawls the back catalog to pluck tracks on the same atmospheric level as Play classics like "Porcelain" or "South Side." Many of these tracks -- especially ones from Everything Is Wrong and Animal Rights -- sound much better in this format, divorced from the rock flame-outs that often surrounded them on the original albums. And though the version of his classic "Go" is actually a re-recording from 1998, it's a solid update that retains much of the original but never sounds like a pointless remake. Songs 1993-1998 also spotlights Moby's continuing excellence in a number of genres, including a few of his Hi-NRG house singles from the mid-'90s ("Feeling So Real," "Move"), as well as his frequently beautiful ambient excursions ("God Moving Over the Face of the Waters," "The Rain Falls and the Sky Shudders"). It's a shame that the compilation completely skips his seminal early productions ("Drop a Beat," "Next Is the E") and a few rarities would've been nice for collectors, but Songs 1993-1998 will satisfy fans of Play waiting for a new album.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush