A Hasidic reggae sensation. It sounds like a sitcom setup that inevitably ends in “Now Iâ€™ve really seen it all!” And Iâ€™ll admit that when I saw Matisyahu for the first time, the gangly visage in a black suit and hat and traditional beard, combined with a voice perfectly trained for staccato wordplay, was as disorienting as Michael Bolton bustin’ out with a rhyme that would make Jay-Z blush. Yet despite being the last guy youâ€™d expect to find himself in a waka-waka rhythm, Matisyahu comes legit with lyrics often steeped in religious imagery which, like Bob Marleyâ€™s Rastafarianism or even Bonoâ€™s Catholicism, never cross over into dogma. Itâ€™s in those lyrics that Matisyahuâ€™s conceit comes into focus: Zion, Babylon, salvation, temples, princes and kings — whether Jamaica or Jerusalem, reggae at its core is rebel music for true believers. Matisyahu is true, and heâ€™s bound to make some new believers of his own.
King Without a Crown [MP3, 4.5MB, 128kbps]