By Ellen Eldridge
The chanted beginning of Matisyahu signals a fresh and inspiring take on rock-reggae. The significance of the album title, Spark Seeker, presents itself in the line, “These lies have got me tired; I’m free-falling, I’m done stalling,” that references the idea that music made inspires despite the music maker’s own struggle for finding that “fire.” The opening track, aptly titled “Crossroads,” treats listeners to danceable beats coursing with powerfully inspired lyrics.
Those unfamiliar with Matisyahu may take an interest in considering his Hebrew roots; indeed, this blender of reggae and rock takes great pride in Orthodox Judaism, using his Herbrew name as his stage name. This fact makes the central theme on Spark Seeker stand within a circle of soul-searching. “Searchin” grabs hold of the inherent idea in all young 30-somethings in the spoken closing lines that speak about the treasures of the Earth that can be found by those who know where to dig. Matisyahu closes this track with the idea that a rabbi is the geologist of the soul who can show us all where to dig and what to dig for. The song leaves listeners with the stark fact that “the digging must be done yourself.”
Finding Spark Seeker opens a new world of thought and musical genre mixing. The superficial sounds call fans to dance and sing to such a seamless collaboration of electronic, alternative and reggae elements. Those who care to delve deeper can find solace and inspiration in the songwriter’s often-times personal exploration of the world and its meaning.
“I Believe in Love” starts with a bit of guitar that fades back into the electronic song structure. The cathartic and peaceful chorus testifies about a simple belief in love that brings family and summertime themes to the mind’s forefront.
Matisyahu pulls so many popular ideas into his inner circle with an overall feeling of hope. Despite the obvious idea that this songwriter’s latest release signals an underlying struggle to continue finding the inspiration with which to inspire takes nothing from his ability to do so. Be sure to check out Spark Seeker as well as the ongoing tour.