With "King Without A Crown" getting airplay on many alternative radio stations in the US, Matisyahu expresses an incredible spiritual fervor to the masses--with a quite attractive blend of reggae rhythms and elec. guitar that makes you feel part of an entire religious movement. I'm not religiously inclined by any means, but beyond the arrangements and just the general ambience of the music, Miller's voice is nothing short of amazing, and his delivery comes as nothing less than ethereal. Really, even a casual Marley fan can appreciate the combination of reggae with a decidedly great backing band. Spirituality is traditionally part of reggae, and Matisyahu is no exception, channeling a certain soul of honesty and hunger for a higher power. Like I said, I don't believe, but if I did, this would be the soundtrack to the top. But enough of that. Standouts are "Chop 'em Down", "King without a Crown", "Refuge", and "Close My Eyes", probably the best track here. But there are also the understated "Warrior" and "Exaltation", the two longest tracks. These don't feel like 7 minutes, because the band actually knows how to balance singing and instrumentation, often with the singing supplementing. And the one surprise: "Beat Box", happens to be an amazing display of skill for a human beat box, which at its end, the guitar comes in. Rapping by the MC and Miller ensues. "My mother sang songs in camps of concentration. His mother sang songs inside the cotton plantation. Her mother sang songs while we were bombing their nation. Now I sing songs for much more than just my occupation"... Better rapping skills than most of the [...] flung at us today, and did I forget to say that THE LYRICS MEAN SOMETHING. It's like a revolution or something. Be part of it.
Yes, I saw Matisyahu in concert. It was the best concert I've ever been to to date, and I'm agnostic... Go figure, right? Excellent songwriting and vocals make this an accessible and unpretentious album.
Also, I must recommend "New Dubby Conquerors" by Seeed, huge(popular) in Germany right now. You can listen on amazon.de even if you can't read the German. Best Reggae I know of. Comes off the line as PERFECT, with excellent critical acclaim even in JAMAICA! Check it out or download some tracks, it's infectious and electronically experimental.