Is “Kala” The New “Play”?

Aug 27th, 2008 // 11 Comments

kalaplay.jpgIf nothing else, the recent chart ascents of M.I.A.’s Kala and “Paper Planes” are fascinating for the parallels they evoke with… Moby. Think about it: Play was a modest-selling album by a critics’ pet that thanks to truckloads of advertising wound up selling a huge number of copies; Kala finished second in Idolator Pop 2007 and is now climbing the charts (currently at No. 37, having sold 11,000 copies) thanks to its use in a movie (and trailer). I’ve long thought of Play as the signal album of the dot-com boom and bust, for many reasons, and it’s interesting to see Kala in that light at this later date. No prizes for guessing M.I.A. will eventually sell 10 million, though.

  1. Chris Molanphy

    Let’s talk again if “Bamboo Banga” appears in a Ford commercial or “Bird Flu” winds up in a sports montage.

  2. mhulot

    Moby gets beat up on a lot, and he probably deserves it, but Play holds up pretty well. It’s easier to enjoy now that I don’t have to hear it behind every commercial or on the speakers of every coffee shop, or listen to Maxim-subscribing frat boys talk about how “kick-ass” it is. Strange to remember that Moby was once a pet cause for critics, and that his albums sold moderately well but really made very little impact (as opposed to now….). Oh, and that his music was once considered to be “cerebral.”

    Also, you can find Play for $4 or less in the bargain bin of any used cd store.

  3. DavidWatts

    @Chris Molanphy: Yeah, I might say that the Santo Gold record is the new Play. Those songs were in commercials before the record was even out, though, so I don’t know if that confuses things.

  4. Chris Molanphy

    @mhulot: IAWTC.

  5. Anonymous

    Don’t know if Kala’s going to catch on like play but I keep meaning to comment that if the high school kids I worked with this summer were in charge then “Paper Planes” would have been the song of the summer, no matter how long it’s been out. They would not stop playing that thing.

  6. neworiginals

    I’ve long thought of Play as the signal album of the dot-com boom and bust, for many reasons

    I’m with you there. Primarily because I bought the CD new from some random dot-com for $4 in 1999.

  7. unperson

    @cheesebubble: Oh, you’re not alone. I’ve gone from “don’t get it” to “actively hate it.”

  8. Tauwan

    Silly rabbits, everybody knows Santogold’s album is the new Play.

  9. ObtuseIntolerant

    @cheesebubble: Or perhaps just a quite silent majority? I know I’m with you.

  10. Dick Laurent is dead.

    M.I.A. is really only banking that one single right now, whereas to my memory Moby sold or had singles off nearly every track on “Play”.

  11. cheesebubble

    Play > Kala …honestly, I don’t get what the big deal is regarding M.I.A. but I seem to be a lonely minority.

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