Matisyahu - Youth
I've been listening to a lot of downloads by this guy recently and I never get tired of him. Finally I hold in my hands the double 180grm vinyl version of Youth, his most recent release. And as far as I know, his only album release on vinyl. There is a DUB version of Youth available too but I don't have that.
From what I hear, in both senses, Live at Stubb's seems to be the best album so maybe we cab live in hope that that will be too released as vinyl.
As for this release I don't think there is a bad track on the album. I love it.
Matisyahu, for those who don't yet know, is an orthodox jew in his late 20s who loves and sings reggae. Subjects are overwhelmingly relgious based, talking about the king in heaven, Jerusalem. Psalm 26 is even printed in the sleeve notes and starts off 'The Lord is my light and my life...'
It is indeed all reggae and generally uplifting and spiritual(of course). There is the odd slower song such as 'Late night in Zion' which is gorgeous.
While the album is of course built around Matisyahu's dancehall vocals, there are enough changes in tempo and extra flourishes to keep things interesting. Ancient lullaby has a backing that sound slike it was provided by the Bhundu boys from Zimbabwe.
Standout tracks are 'King without a crown'(a version appears on all three of his album releases. Unfortunately this one is probably the worst, but still great), 'Jerusalem'(you have to sing along to this one, @late night in Zion'(a beautiful appeal for understanding), and 'Youth' itself, a plea to young ment to stand up and take control, presumably for good.
Bass as you would expect from a reggae album is both pronounced and impressive. General sound is also very enjoyable although not as impressive, say, as the vinyl edition of Stadium Arcadium. Pressing quality is very good with the songs well spaced out across the four sides of high quality vinyl. And its quite a cheap release too. Packaging is single sleeve with two picture sleeves inside on which about half of the songs have the lyrics printed.
It would be great to see the previous releases(on another label) come out on vinyl. For now, this is great.