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Spark Seeker by Matisyahu
Released: Jul 2012
Label: Fallen Sparks/Thirty Tigers
Welcome to Matisyahu's mainstreaming. We know what you're thinking: Hey, what took so long, Hasidic Jewish reggae dude? Seriously, though, old-school fans may not recognize the rootsy beardo, who's refashioned as an old-world-trotting Hasidic baller who spits lyrics like "On a camel with my shades/ Head wrapped to the max/ Burning tracks all day." Spark Seeker rolls deep with guest rappers, pop hooks and slick, chic beats. And you know what? It works. He makes mainstream pop his own, with Hebrew choruses and Middle Eastern samples. Hey, if this white boy from West Chester could pull off the rasta patois, he can do anything.
Rachel Devitt