Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…
Album: LIGHT (August 25, 2009)
Style: A Hasidic Jewish reggae rapper… enough said.
Less pure reggae than his previous album, Youth, Matisyahu stirs up a potent mix of indulgent pop hooks, hip-hop beats, beatboxing, and alt-rock guitar solos, tying it all together with his (uplifting) lyrical flow. Part Shakira, part Mat Kearney, part Bob Marley – this practicing Jew takes the prized elements of today’s pop and hip-hop and strips them of their insolent identities while infusing them with an intelligent and irresistible iridescence that reflects on selflessness, peace, and mortality.
Standout Lyric: Like fire and water be strong with compassion / In the morning we’re born everlasting / …Will you rise like a lion in the morning sun? / Or will you just lay there bleeding?
Standout Lyric II: Evacuate the premises / You’re your own nemesis / The premise is / We’re born in blood and leave the world penniless
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/matisyahu
Artist: Imogen Heap
Album: Ellipse (August 25, 2009)
Style: Intricate pop
Imogen Heap starts with her voice, looping it with self-harmonizing vocals and surrounding it with strings and bells and other careful layerings that bounce around like a symphonic score set to the story of the lyrics. The lyrics explore hope and fatalism and everything in between, occasionally buffered by a “da-dum, dah, day-o” but always lightly and delicately moving forward, like the swift feet of someone running through open fields.
Standout Lyric: Everybody says that time heals everything / But of the wretched hollow / The endless in between? / Are we just going to wait it out?
Standout Lyric II: Baby behave we’ll make it work, Baby behave we’ll make it work, Baby behave we’ll make it work…. You’re only what you give back, You’re only what you give back, You’re only what you give back…
In Case It Bothers You: There is one curse word in “Bad Body Double,” and a couple songs with lines that could be interpreted lustfully
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/imogenheap
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