Matisyahu Releases New Album, ‘Light’
Mixes electronica, guitar rock into the reggae, to not-so-great reviews
Matisyahu released his third album, Light, yesterday, and this time he has added new elements—“electonica, funky pop, straight-up guitar rock and even a touch of folk,” according to the AP—to his trademark Hasidic-inspired reggae. He’s taking some knocks for it at home in Crown Heights, Brooklyn: “Just yesterday I was walking down the street and some kid was walking by me,” he told the news service. “He’s like, ‘Matis, stick to the reggae!’ I was like, ‘Ahhgh!’” Songs on the new album are eclectic; one track, the AP says, “combines mystical themes he studied from Rabbi Nachman (1772-1810), the crisis in Darfur he learned about while contributing to a John Lennon tribute album, and the tragedy of Africa’s child soldiers.”
Some critics aren’t sold. “The biggest hurdle for white, Western reggae singers to overcome is phoniness: How to make reggae without faking patois (which sounds silly and condescending), and how to embrace its themes without reducing a racially and politically charged genre to mere schtick?” notes a reviewer in Paste. “Matisyahu spectacularly fails to solve these predicaments, but 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.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.