Matisyahu - Light

2009-08-30 | |

It's been a long time since I've done a proper musical review, so long I doubt I'm up to it. However, I've really gotten back into listening to Matisyahu lately, so it only seems right that I'd listen to Light pretty soon after it came out.

Light is Matisyahu's third studio album, and has been two years in the making. In a pre-listening comment I have to say "Two years? I'm expecting big things."

I sat, and I sat, and I scribbled down things on a notepad, and came up with a basic idea of what I wanted to say about this album. It was going to be a 'good starter' and a 'grower', and I'd written all of it in the first four songs. And then it hit me, the good stuff wasn't just the first four songs, it was ongoing.

This 13 song behemoth from the Brooklyn Reggae artist is no further from his roots than Youth or Shake Off the Dust...Arise. And yet, even as I write that, I think there's a maturity, not only in the music, but in the faith and character of this young Jewish man, which shines through in a way that is indescribable. His lyrics ebb and flow with feeling and passion, with faith and conviction, and with something that makes this man so much more special than most of the other artists I bend an ear to.

So, what about the album? It's good. It's really good. I believe it's a good starter off the blocks, and it keeps its rhythm throughout. It strides head and shoulders above the rest, running with passion and a sound that is so calm in places, and so charged in others, that it complements itself perfectly. There is no "You could listen to this song with friends and this song with parents" style to it - to remove one song from the album is like removing a keystone from an arch - it would come tumbling down - each song seems equally a key part of this masterpiece as any other.

The downside, however, is that it is only a good starter. I tend to judge whether an album is worth listening to based on the first few songs, and this one ticked the boxes, but, it didn't wow me, literally knock me for six, until I was venturing into the middle-section of the album with So Hi So Lo. Before that point, I thought "It's good. It's worth a bit of praise", but the mid section, the bulk of the album, is where it really kicks off.

I have nothing terrible to say about this. There are no words to be used against it. This is an album that would work not only for old Matisyahu fans, but also new ones. I highly recommend giving it a full listen, when you're in the mood to just relax and do other things.

Overall: 8.5/10 - a good starter, with inbuilt passion; but it lacks that "two years in the making" brilliance.

Top Track: So Hi So Lo

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