Matisyahu: Shattered EP

[25 February 2009]

By Ron Hart

This four-track taste test to Matisyahu’s forthcoming full-length, Light certainly leaves much to be desired if you are a big fan of the Hasidic reggae star’s toasting skills. Though Shattered does feature a mind-boggling ensemble of back-up musicians, including such prolific names as legendary rhythm section Sly and Robbie, producer Stephen McGregor (son of reggae legend Freddie) and Fish and Norwood Fisher from Fishbone, the songs here tread far from Matisyahu’s signature sound.

Tracks such as the glib Coldplay-esque anthemic rocker “So Hi So Lo” and the watered-down hip-hop of “Smash Lies” will certainly leave those initially intrigued by the sound of earlier works like 2004’s Shake Off the Dust…Rise and 2006’s Youth scratching their heads and wondering where the reggae went. And while Matis’ classic style does show up on the epic “Two Child, One Drop” and “I Will Be Light”, the venturing into more secular sounds on Shattered will certainly leave a disappointing taste in the mouths of those anticipating the release of his forthcoming full-length, Light.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/70087-matisyahu-shattered-ep/