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Spark Seeker

4.4 out of 5 stars 100 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 17, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Matisyahu blasts off with his 4th album Spark Seeker, produced by Kool Kojack (Nicki Minaj, Travis Barker, Ke$ha). This bold new studio album finds the one-of-a-kind vocalist and songwriter exploring uncharted territory with help from an expansive cast of collaborators. My musical tastes are all over the board, he says in reference to a record that mixes ancient traditional sounds with futuristic electro beats, rapping with singing, songs of the spirit with songs of the body. My music is about searching out inspiration wherever it lies. This album is about seeking that spark within.

Since first emerging on the international stage in 2005, Matisyahu has established a reputation for transcending boundaries- from the stripped-down roots reggae of the gold-certified Live at Stubb s to the trippy ministrations of the Grammy nominated Youth to the polished pop eclecticism of Light. Then, in 2010, he returned to the venerable Austin venue that introduced him for Live at Stubb s, Vol. II, demonstrating that all of his travels had only strengthened his connection to his musical bedrock. Selling over 2 million albums worldwide, it was a whirlwind half-decade journey, one that earned Matisyahu a place in pop culture at large.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 17, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: July 17, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Fallen Sparks/Thirty Tigers
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • ASIN: B0082LUGVC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,314 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
In a final product that's sure to receive divided opinions among a diverse fanbase, Spark Seeker sees Matisyahu taking a left turn firmly into electronic and jazzed up production. This is not an album done in the reggae style, or even in the polished rock style seen on Youth and Light.

Spark Seeker's a very different type of album, one that mixes hi-tech, busy, and heavily synthesized production with Middle-Eastern instruments for a very cool new sound for him.

I wasn't sure what to initially think when I heard that Matisyahu was heading in this direction. Most fans, I'd think, have always preferred his live albums to Youth and Light mainly because of the rawer, more energetic sound that comes with a band playing the music. His studio albums, on the other hand, always blended this style with poppier and more mainstream production.

With Spark Seeker, we see the album diving headfirst into this type of production, and I have to express my surprise; it's all the better for it. By sticking firmly to its style instead of tepidly balancing between the two, I feel that this is Matisyahu's most cohesive and energetic studio album to date, with songs that blend well together while all still sounding like something unique and different. The CD's meant to be played loud and with the bass cranked up and it's an experience all its own.

Crossroads is an incredible way to kick things off, and this transitions into one of only 3 (somewhat) traditional songs on the album, Sunshine. Searching, Buffalo Soldier, and Fire of Freedom all bring something totally new to the table while all coming off as incredibly catchy. Bal Shem Tov has an atmospheric start as the music beautifully fades in, this one including some incredible lyrics.
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Format: MP3 Music
Being a dedicated matisyahu follower I was very disappointed in this album. Matisyahu previously was a pioneer in his own genre of music, this CD however has lost much of matisyahu's uniqueness and goes for mass appeal with pop being an undeniable influence.. I still love matisyahu but I won't be listening to this CD cover to cover like I do on a daily basis with his other amazing albums. Every artist goes through changes for better or for worse, personally I think he should go back to his style in previous albums. Matisyahu is truly amazing artist regardless, and even better live which proves real talent.
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Echoing other reviewers for this much-anticipated album, I left the nearly 2-year wait for its release with mixed feelings.

It's arguably fair to call 'Spark Seeker' an advancement in the production and sophistication of Matisyahu, as more complex rhythms, Middle Eastern and electronic overlays, and finally tighter mixing combine to give this album a sense of a bona fide studio affair. It's certainly a joy to listen to, and catchy x 10. Well done, Kool Kojack. I wouldn't be surprised to see 1 or 2 tracks go mainstream radio.

Still, something gets lost in all these intended upgrades. Matisyahu's 'authenticity' - his free form mix of Jewish niggun and reggae flow - are sadly few and far between on Spark Seeker. It's admittedly odd to witness this step back. 'Light,' in my opinion stands as Matisyahu's best album to date, one that captured his best and then some by adding subtle but needed polish to the original Live albums plus debut offering. On a personal level, however, Matisyahu (through his own admission) transitioned away from Hasidic Judaism toward the end of 2011, a move which might explain the format switch (as his perception of music purpose could have adjusted accordingly).

In multiple plays of Spark Seeker, I couldn't help but think of the same journey Kanye West took...and perhaps continues to via collaborative albums...in marrying his realness plus desire for musical experimentation. Some hiccups emerged along the way in over-preference toward a particular outcome. Perhaps this Matisyahu's current struggle, in determining where his raw passion and musical zeal best overlay.

Thus and in sum, Matisyahu devotees might find Spark Seeker a slight downgrade to the terrific Youth. Those new to this unique talent might best be served via earlier efforts first.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable album. A bit different from his past efforts and I'm sure some will not appreciate it. I actually enjoy this album more than Light. Crossroads, Breathe Easy, Searchin, and Live Like a Warrior are early favs.
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Format: Audio CD
I guess he tried to reinvent himself...but honestly, most of the music could have been released by Nicki Minaj. There are a couple nice songs but also a lot of overproduced electronic pop crap, too (Tel Aviv'n). I miss the authenticity (songs like "Got No Water"), it seems like he tries to hit the pop charts pretty bad! It is nice that he tried to experiment with the Mizrahi/Arabic sounds and some unusual instruments but in the end it all got marginalized by the awful computer generated sounds!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The quality of music and recording was less than acceptable for this artist. There were only a couple songs that I enjoyed, the others seemed to rely on too much electronic effects which took away from quality.

Given the amount of presale advertising and quality graphic design...this was a big disappointment coming from such a talented artist.
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