Filed Under (Acoustic Originals) by Jason on December-7-2010

Suffice it to say, the official music video for this song did not make a fan out of me. The opening scene features Matisyahu dressed in some kind of jumpsuit and sitting next to a frat-bro King Antiochus, the villain who Jews celebrate having defeated 2200 years ago. Later, we see the side-locked Matisyahu wearing a Santa costume and locked in a cage. It’s no exaggeration to say that it’s one of the tackiest videos I’ve ever seen.

Now, this is not to be confused with Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles,” which is without question the tackiest. (Miracle(s)… tacky… coincidence?) But ICP’s is so absurd that it transcends its tackiness and enters the realm of the hilarious: an example of what screenwriter Dana Stevens catchily referred to as “the permeable border between high drama and low comedy.”

Not to belabor the point, but really. The video. I didn’t even make it through the full 5 minutes. Which is a shame, because this is the song that many, facing yet another terrible case of religio-seasonal affect disorder (RSAD), have been trumpeting as the cultural redeemer of the Jewish holiday season. Is this what we are reduced to?

Anyway, this is where I was at. Then Matisyahu went on Sirius XM and did an acoustic version of Miracle, and suddenly I was forced to reevaluate. (He also performed the number on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, but there is no available video of that.)

This guy is seriously talented. In this one song we see him start with a Dancehall pulse, jump an octave for a hook-y chorus, and then break it down with some of his famous beat-boxing. Said Matisyahu, “I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song.” You better believe, when he sings “Bound to stumble and fall/But my strength comes not from man at all” – Matisyahu is praying. The emotion – the spiritual passion – on his face is real, and it is contagious.

I’m off to light 7 candles. Happy Hannukah!

Listen to the original here:

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Comments
Racheli on December 8th, 2010 at 12:20 am #

eh…not a fan of this song. it’s boring. i also couldn’t get through the video. at least it’s not the maccabeats 😉

Joe on December 8th, 2010 at 11:17 am #

Oh jeez, not the Maccabeats…

Anyway, it’s not the most brilliant display of songwriting, but it’s not really about that – it’s about him. His voice, his beats, his intensity, his dangling sidelocks.

Ellie on December 8th, 2010 at 11:27 am #

I actually thought this song was awesome! We all know how rare it is to hear a Channukah song that is fun or popular enough to get on to the radio (which is why we have to hear Adam Sandler over and over, it’s all they got) and I appreciated that Matisyahu came out with something that many people could enjoy, regardless of religion really. Additionally I appreciated that he had a sense of humor in the music video. This is obviously not going to win a Grammy or anything, but it is festive and peppy while still having a message and staying true to Matusyahu’s sound. And isn’t festive and peppy what the holidays are all about?

Rami on December 9th, 2010 at 9:43 am #

It’s a great song celebrating the holiday that saw his namesake’s rise to prominence. Except Matisyahu isn’t his actual hebrew name.

I don’t blame him for not using his real name though. It’s hard to be famous when your MC sobriquet is “Feivish Herschel”

Joe on December 9th, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

Rami: you never know. Herschel Walker was a big-time NFL running back. Maybe drop the “Feivish,” though.

Ellie: perhaps you’re right. ‘Tis the season for festiveness and pep. I just thought it was too goofy. But maybe I’m taking it too seriously.

Anyone else have an opinion on that?

CE Kantor on December 20th, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

He said in an interview that it was meant to be goofy, he called it a sort of “Matisyahu on LSD on Ice” The head knock made me see it as dreamlike so I guess it does not seem as weird to me, it was like Matis in wonderland…

Anonymous on December 10th, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

thanks joe! also downloaded this one to mp3!

Joe on December 15th, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

Glad to share the musical love! But don’t forget to support the artist… he’s got albums and concert tickets to sell.

Carolyn on December 18th, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

agreed the Sirius version is amazing spectacular wonderful… not really enough words to describe how this affected me yes it is a prayer love his voice on this.

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