Jewish Music Blog

December 27, 2005

Matisyahu Disapointment

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 7:28 pm

I read an interesting post regarding the next Matisyahu album, “Youth”. The post was clearly written by a bona fide Matisyahu fan, and the basic theme is that the new album has no innovation or inspiration, has lost its reggae feel and has become run-of-the-mill.

What I’m about to say is not at all based on the album – I never heard the album. I’m merely conjecturing based on the content of the post that I read, assuming it as true.

All I can say is: I’m not at all surprised. Those readers who have hailed Matisyahu as “spreading his word through music” (whatever that means; see comments to previous Matisyahu post) and doing what he does because he just wants to share that which he loves; reggae, wil be sadly dissapointed by this album because “the reggae vibe is gone”. Oh well, so much for searching for the right type of music that really hits him and spreading his “message” through it.



  1. as another bonafide matisyahu fan, i’ll reserve judgement on pronouncing his music dead for a few more months till the album is officially released.

    You and Atlas are jumping on this, but who says she was a a real bonfafide matisyahu fan, just because she says she is?

    How about giving that advance to ten bigtime matisyahu fans and let’s see what they all say. at least before we all go and declare this phenom dead.

    I just heard the show he did a couple months ago in Ft Lauderdale, and I can’t tell you how awesome that show was. We all know his new album will be watered down somewhat, it’s Sony, and they are going mainstream. That’s business, but to call it a huge disappointment and to run with this as if it’s some official review from tons of majhor matisyahu fans .. well .. im repeating myself now …

    Comment by LIFE-of-RUBIN — December 27, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  2. I actually didn’t know it was being produced by Sony – I’d really like to hear it.

    I’m sure his shows live up to the first album – that’s what he’s performing now.

    Comment by keyboardguy — December 28, 2005 @ 12:46 pm

  3. actually, I’m talking about some of the new stuff. You can hear many of the new songs on his shows. Go to, you can hear tons of new stuff. All of which i thought was really cool. My sister also went to a show last month where he did Youth and the extended aish tamid, and she said it was out of this world.

    Links here:
    9:30 club:
    New Songs, Youth and

    Ft Lauderdale:
    Mist Rising and Fire of Heaven (my new favorite song)

    Comment by LIFE-of-RUBIN — December 28, 2005 @ 8:33 pm

  4. Thanks for the links – great site!

    Comment by keyboardguy — December 28, 2005 @ 9:02 pm

  5. I thought I’d clarify:

    I did not pronounce Matisyahu’s music dead! I’d sooner pronounce my own- I think this guy’s the real deal and it would take alot more than one bad album to bury him. On the other hand, the copy that I heard (It isn’t as exclusive as jDub would have you believe, btw. I got it from a friend who got it from a friend who got it…) was not half as interesting as his latest live stuff and not at all representative of the musician that you and I know as Matisyahu. I posted later on mentalblog, “I thought about the watered-down sound of Youth again and I realized that working with Sony probably forced Matisyahu to make certain concessions that make his music a bit more mainstream and thus more marketable. (It’s the usual beef of indie groups selling out to get to the masses.) I’m sure though that when he performs, his music will retain its original Matisyahu flavor. What better way to judge a musician than by his live performance—its there that his exuberance and talent shine through.”

    I am disappointed with the direction Matisyahu is taking, and I think it would do his camp good to listen to fan feedback. I am sure that some listeners will be relieved to hear him lose that very foreign, at least to Jewish ears, reggea sound. I think it’s a shame! I think constructive criticism is good, especially for someone about to breakout into the mainstream. Obviously, since the release date has been pushed back to March, I assume they’re going back into the studio to patch things up. I’m looking forward to hearing a better version of Youth–the quality and signature sound that his fans deserve.

    Comment by kara — December 29, 2005 @ 11:59 pm

  6. I want proof, sorry. Why are you the only one to have said anything? Either way, now your backtracking. You said you heard an advance copy, that would mean a real finished, sent out to reviewers and radio stations copy. If you even heard anything, it was an early early mix, from months ago.

    Not only that but you started a topic that has been picked up by at least 6 other blogs not including myself, all running with the headline “Matisyahu’s second cd sucks” (not exactly those words, but that was the angle) from a source that’s unproven, without credentials and at best heard an unfinished mix.

    If you were Rolling Stone, and your reviewing the real advance and you declare, “I heard a copy of Youth and its very disappointing”, than I’d take it more seriously. But your still an anonymous person, on a comment thread on a blog, with no proof.

    After your “review” I went back and downloaded as many versions of the new songs as I could find on his concerts on and BitTorrent, and you know what? I found that the three songs that keep popping up, Mist Rising, Youth and Altar of Heaven all sounded really good, and VERY reggae, not watered down at all. Especially Alter and Mist. Take a listen.

    In the end, if you were a real fan like you claim to be, you’d be giving it the same benefit of the doubt I do. Instead of working so hard to prove how disappointing his new cd will be.

    Comment by LIFE-of-RUBIN — December 30, 2005 @ 8:12 am

  7. My point exactly: why is anyone treating my one comment as a definitive review. I am not an expert, not a music writer, and I I heard the old version set for release 1.1.06… so why would one person’s words be taken as the last? Shouldn’t you wait till you heard it yourself before declaring opinions about his music? I am not working hard to prove that the 2nd cd sucks… I merely expressed my personal disapointment with it. I’ve decided that Matisyahu is a performing artist, not a recording artist, and you have to see him live to hear what he’s got. But again, isn’t there some kind of code of ethics for blogs that requires a verifiable source (not me, I am an anonymous layman and only one person’s opinion) before spreading all sorts of rumors and opinions as fact. Shouldn’t it be implicit that when I post without any credentials, my words should not be taken that seriously. I know you think I”m backpeddling, I’m not- I am just shocked that my one comment within a bigger discussion about other aspects of his music got picked up and blown way out of proportion.

    Comment by kara — December 30, 2005 @ 9:07 am

  8. Matisyahu is GOD! Yichi Adoneinu Moreinu Rabbeinu V’Boreinu Rebbe Melech HaMoshiach Matisyahu L’olam Vaed!!! All Praise due to the Lord Matisyahu!!!

    Comment by Anonymous — January 2, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  9. First of all: What exactly makes one a “bona fide” Matisyahu fan? Just curious if I am a “bona fide” Matisyahu anti-fan.
    Second: I had received permission from my supervisors at work to bring in a small boombox to play Jewish music during the holiday season so I and my Jewish co-workers wouldn’t go nuts from the holiday “music”. Anyway, I brought in HASC 18, and when I was on break, a Lubavicher co-worker of mine turned on the Matisyahu tracks and pumped the volume way up. Soon, our Filipino manager shows up and asks why we were playing rock ‘n’ roll music when we had only received permission to listen to Jewish music. My co-worker said, “It’s not rock, it’s Hassidic!” Her reaction: “Riiiiiiiight. Turn it off” That was the end of Jewish music at work. Just a question: If the goyim can no longer draw the line between us and them, if my African-American and Jamaican co-workers can boogie down with the music of a frum yid, then have we learned anything from chanukah?
    BTW: Aryeh, nice disclaimer on the original post, good way to cover your back and avoid any controversy.

    Comment by Shimon — January 7, 2006 @ 11:15 pm

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