For most artists, following up an album like Play—which has amassed worldwide sales of 10 million and whose every track could be heard on big and small screens—would be no easy task.

For most artists, following up an album like Play—which has amassed worldwide sales of 10 million and whose every track could be heard on big and small screens—would be no easy task. Fortunately, Moby is not "most artists." From his humble techno beginnings, he's always followed his own beat—albeit a smartly sampled at that. On the 18-track 18, which perhaps should have been titled 14, he continues mining his own playing field, one that is partly indebted to Play's blues and gospel overtones (the beautifully torched "In This World" and "One of These Mornings") as well as to new wave's and house music's roots (witness the jangly "We Are All Made of Stars" and the fierce "Another Woman," respectively). Special mention must be made of featured guests Sinéad O'Connor ("Harbour"), Azure Ray ("Great Escape"), and Angie Stone and MC Lyte ("Jam for the Ladies"), whose contributions only further strengthen an already strong set.—MP