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Animal Rights

This article is about the album Animal Rights. For the rights movement, see Animal rights.

Animal Rights is an album by electronica artist Moby, released on February 11, 1996 (see 1996 in music). The album was critically reviled upon its first release, as it finds Moby attempting to abandon techno music for alternative rock; while most praised his attempt at diversifying outside of his genre, Animal Rights is generally perceived as containing nothing but derivative rhythms and techno hooks poorly disguised as alternative rock riffs ( writer Douglas Wolk, for instance, opines that the album "finds Moby falling on his nose so hard it's a wonder the cartilage hasn't been driven into his brain," and concludes that "maybe somebody should try to convince Moby that guitars are actually made out of dead animals," while Rolling Stone decides that "this time around, he has decided to push an agenda instead of boundaries"). Seeming to expect its critical reception, Moby added the following entreaty to the bottom of the page listing credits: "please listen to animal rights in its entirety at least once."

The album's liner notes contain various pictures, an essay on the course of basic rights over history, an essay outlining Moby's disregard for the Christian Coalition, and a page with various "last minute maxims," such as "cruelty is unacceptable" and "you can't expect people to worry about the world when they can't feed themselves or their children."

The album's single "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" was subject to some controversy. The original version by Mission of Burma read in part "Tonight the sky is empty/But that is nothing new/Its dead eyes look upon us/And they tell me we're nothing but slaves." Moby changed the lyrics, whether intentionally or not; his most noticeable change was in the third line above, replacing it with "Instead they look upon us." The result was that he replaced a statement of agnosticism with a baffling non sequitur, though the change went generally unnoticed. Controversy erupted when both the BBC and MTV asked Moby to change the lyrics to the song's title line "That's When I Reach For My Revolver"--Moby rerecorded the song so it would air. Fans of the original were outraged; Moby defended himself, saying he didn't consider the change in lyrics to be very important. Oddly, one of the album's "last minute maxims" is "freedom of speech is absolute and inviolate."

The album's cover features a picture of Moby at two weeks old, being held by his grandfather.

On the Billboard Heatseekers chart, Animal Rights peaked at #31.

Track listing

All songs by Moby except "That's When I Reach For My Revolver," by Clint Conley of Mission of Burma.

  1. "Dead Sun"
  2. "Someone to Love"
  3. "Heavy Flow"
  4. "You"
  5. "Now I Let It Go"
  6. "Come On Baby"
  7. "Soft"
  8. "Anima"
  9. "Say It's All Mine"
  10. "That's When I Reach For My Revolver"
  11. "Alone"
  12. "Face It"
  13. "Old"
  14. "Living"
  15. "Love Song For My Mom"
  16. "A Season In Hell"