CD REVIEW: Matt Hires "Take Us To The Start"

Sometimes a singer/songwriter comes along and takes the music world by storm right out of the gate. Matt Hires is poised to do just that. Like some before him (John Mayer, Jason Mraz), his debut album is so fully awesome that you will be hard pressed to find a track that you don't enjoy. The lead off track and first single is "Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song," which Hires gave us a little taste of in the form of an acoustic demo on his "Live From The Hotel Cafe" EP. This is the song that will make him a household name, and should be all over the radio and at the top of the charts in no time at all. Each song is well written and sung beautifully by Matt, who has a voice that truly unique, not a carbon copy of every other singer on the radio. Songs like "State Lines," "You In The End," and "A Perfect Day" are sure to be future singles on the radio, as this album and Matt Hires becomes one of today's best new talents. Hires has put together one of the best debut albums by any singer/songwriter and will be rewarded by well deserved recognition and success.

CD REVIEW: Matisyahu "Light"

When a Hasidic Jewish reggae singer from Brooklyn came onto the scene a few years ago, everyone was in awe of the gimmick. Except, it was no gimmick. Matisyahu is the real deal and performs reggae music just as good as anyone from Jamaica. He's like the Jewish Bob Marley. On the heels of his successful live album and critically acclaimed major label debut, he's back with a new collection of songs that don't just fit in the reggae mold. Some of his best stuff is featured on this disc, which is like a mosaic of musical styles. Rock is fully represented on "So Hi So Lo" and "Motivate," while a softer folksier side is showcased on "I Will Be Light," a track co-written by Trevor Hall that could be one of Matisyahu's best recordings to date. "Smash Lies" and "Struggla" show off his new school reggae chops, blending elements of hip hop and dancehall into his rootsy style. The highlight of the album is "One Day" which is destined to become Matisyahu's "One Love." Unlike his reggae smash hit "King Without A Crown," this first single is less heavy on the reggae, and incredibly heavy on the message. It connects with any and all listeners, and will surely be the song that drives the widespread success of this album. Matisyahu is one of today's prolific musicians, and this album proves that he's no one hit wonder.