• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Aug 25, 2009
Metascore
53

Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 15
  2. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Add Kahne's instantly accessible production and Light is not only a welcome surprise, but an album that matches his debut.
  2. Reggae and spiritual self-improvement remain Matisyahu's foundation, but they're increasingly buried in the mix, allowing him to focus on his developing ear as a pop songwriter. Add in a few banjos, clarinets and a children's choir, and you've got an eclectic album that's unrepentantly over the top.
  3. He may still sport the same look, but stylistically his new music proves that he's not a one-trick pony.
  4. On his incredibly busy album, Light, there are signs of diversification too. [Jul 2010, p.140]
  5. 60
    Devotees from Matisyahu's jam-scene days might balk, but fans of the Black Eyed Peas/Jack Johnson collabo "Gone Going" will rejoice.
  6. He's aiming for a wider crossover audience with a blend of dancehall, rap and rock guitar solos. Several tracks have the kind of mobile-waving choruses you'd normally associate with a boy band.
  7. 60
    More stirring are te rougher dancehall textures of Smash Lies and Darkness Into Light's crunching guitars and soaring rock chorus. The latter produces the unsettling, but not unwelcome, result of resembling Soundgarden after a course of toasting lessons. [Jul 200, p.103]
  8. On bright pleasures like the New Wave-y 'We Will Walk,' Light comes close to becoming an attention-holding pop album. But it's dragged into earnest tedium by good-natured platitudes hippie-soul moments like 'Thunder,' on which Matisyeezy sounds like a self-serious indie rapper with a major vegan bent.
  9. While working his broad sonic palette with ingenuity and verve, he sacrifices the opportunity to develop a sound that is truly his own. Light ends up with exciting moments, but few memorable songs.
  10. Ultimately, Matisyahu's latest plays like an experiment in reinvention rather than a fully-realized piece of musicianship, seemingly more concerned with sounding commercially viable and dancehall-ready than operating as a musically-competent catalyst for hopeful moralism.
  11. For someone who has a lot to say and is such a unique figure in music, it's a disappointment that Light isn't as captivating as it should be.
  12. Like the former Fugees mastermind, Matisyahu carries the curse of burying his true brilliance in too much pop schlock.
  13. This barrage of generalised morality is cozened by overwrought production that sees the sun-baked reggae backbone of his previous efforts stripped out to make way for a confusing hotch-potch of styles and an overwhelming sense of desperation.
  14. The biggest problem with his reggae is simpler: He's unequivocally terrible at it. Not only do we get fake patois, but also raging electric guitars and cluttered hip-hop production.
  15. 20
    Light is a dog's breakfast of weedy vocals, preachy platitudes and banal melodies that makes Sting sound like The Last Poets. [Jul 2010, p.112]
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. GregQ
    Aug 27, 2009
    8
    More accessible than his last album, Matisyahu is still a breath of fresh air (and a great, all-audience artist) in the More accessible than his last album, Matisyahu is still a breath of fresh air (and a great, all-audience artist) in the reggae/hip-hop/dancehall realm. Full Review »
  2. Jan 19, 2012
    0
    Its just as trashy as I remember it after I listened to it a second time. I really dont know what Matisyahu was thinking. The album is soIts just as trashy as I remember it after I listened to it a second time. I really dont know what Matisyahu was thinking. The album is so mainstream and pop and nothing compared to his previous work. Full Review »