Undercurrent (CD)


Matisyahu

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Amoeba Review

05/16/2017

On his sixth album in 13 years, Matisyahu says, "This is the first album I've made that is produced by myself and the band without any outside forces involved. It's my baby. No compromises, full artistic integrity." Undercurrent underplays the stylistic flourishes of his previous albums and is a fairly subdued examination of Jewish faith through mellow reggae beats and old school styles. Written and produced by Matisyahu and his longtime band, there's a tightness in the sound and experimentation that comes from real camaraderie and friendship. Matisyahu gives the band enough room to stretch and go in directions that aren't really expected of reggae. Maybe it's connected to the holy aspects he's trying to examine in his album, but there's this spiritual sense that the band taps into that no one else can quite do. "Step Out Into the Light" starts off with a type of reggae vibe before it goes into a spaghetti Western-ish riff that's dramatic and spacious. The lyrics themselves are almost free verse as he scopes a type of imagery that veers into the surreal and subconscious. He's channeling some real emotion through his work without ever sounding contrived. "Back to the Old" is a direct retelling of Abraham's story after God's trial. But Matisyahu makes the story more of a spiritual journey than the Judeo-Christian roots of the original by combining his careful lyricism with music that's more emotional and less reggae than anything he's done before. Undercurrent seems to be Matisyahu dealing with grander spiritual issues than he ever has before, but it's done so sophisticatedly and sensitively that it never fumbles.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Step Out Into The Light
Matisyahu 07:48
2.
Back To The Old
Matisyahu 05:49
3.
Coming Up Empty
Matisyahu 06:15
4.
BSP: Blue Sky Playground
Matisyahu 07:59
5.
Tell Me
Matisyahu 10:04
6.
Forest Of Faith
Matisyahu 09:56
7.
Head Right
Matisyahu 06:51
8.
Driftin'
Matisyahu 13:59

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