No Place to Be

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On his fourth album in relatively quick succession, No Place to Be, Matisyahu pumps out nothing too adventurous. Indeed, most of the songs here have been present in some form or another on his previous albums. What No Place to Be does provide, though, is an excellent primer on the range that Matisyahu can cover. Top-flight dancehall in "Jerusalem" and "Chop 'Em Down," excellent covers in the form of "Message in a Bottle," thick dub remixing, and thumping beats when called for, in a remix of "Youth" (the title track from his previous album). The songwriting abilities and presentation are still entirely prevalent, as are high production values courtesy of Bill Laswell and Sly & Robbie. As an added bonus, the album is packaged with the Live in Israel DVD, which shows off one of the main factors that catapulted Matisyahu from relative obscurity to the limelight so quickly: his incredible stage presence (as well as some nice interviews and rather artsy scenic interludes). Shake Off the Dust and Youth may be somewhat larger albums with more original material, but No Place to Be provides a nice entry point for new listeners, as well as a fine live DVD.

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