Single Review: Moby – “In This World” (UK #1)

“In This World” is the third single from Moby’s album, 18, and it was released in November 2002. When the single was released in the UK, it was released on two CDs; this review will focus on the first of the two UK CD singles, which includes “In This World” and two B-sides.

The disc opens with the album version of “In This World,” which features vocals by Jennifer Price. Stylistically, this song sounds a lot like it could have been on the Play album; in some ways, this song kind of reminds me of “Natural Blues.” “In This World” has an almost “gospel” feel to it, with an instrumentation featuring strings, keyboards, and percussion. During an instrumental break, the strings suddenly soar to life, which adds character to the song. I really enjoy “In This World,” and I think it’s one of the stronger songs on the 18 album.

The second song is an instrumental called “Piano & Strings”; however, this title is a little misleading, since there is also some percussion on the track. An interesting thing that I noticed was that never once did the piano and strings appear at the same time on the track; you either hear piano and percussion, or strings and percussion. Throughout the background of the song, you can hear a “record hiss,” which is supposed to make the song sound like it’s being played off of a vinyl record. “Piano & Strings” is a slower song, but it’s a good track to listen to if you need something a little more on the mellow side in order to chill out.

The final song on the disc is titled, “Downhill,” which also sounds like it could have been released from the Play album. This song features a repetitive drum beat, with one line of vocal being sung by a female vocalist being repeated throughout the track (which is the word “downhill”); however, at about two minutes into the song, strings suddenly appear. Unfortunately, this track causes this single to go downhill somewhat. To me, “Downhill” is the weakest song on the disc, and isn’t one of Moby’s better B-sides.

If you’re a die-hard Moby fan that wants to own either every item he has released or every track that he has recorded, then this disc is worth tracking down. However, if you’re a more casual fan of Moby, then you’re probably better off sticking with the 18 album.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of the first UK single for “In This World” that my husband and I purchased.

(written by Lesley Aeschliman on December 3, 2002)


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