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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Matisyahu

The jblogosphere has been full with talk about Matisyahu. I downloaded some Matisyahu songs from his website out of curiosity. I was pretty sure that I would hear some pretty mediocre music that passes as good since its "Hasidic". After listening to the songs, I must admit that I was wrong. This guy is really talented, and he is accompanied by three other talented musicians (Aaron Dugan - GUITAR, Josh Werner - BASS, Jonah David - DRUMS). I don't know if the other musicians are partners with Matisyahu on his spiritual trip. They are certainly partners with him on his musical journey, and the four make up a very tight combo.

I was particularly taken in with the song "King Without A Crown", played live. It starts very softly, switches to a reggae rhythm with the Dugan playing chords on the offbeat. Matisyahu sings/raps some real tongue twisting lyrics about his love for Hashem. The chorus has a kind of Mediterranean beat while the guitar plays counterpoint to Matisyahu. After a few screams of "Yuh" (I guess that's Matisyahu's version of "yeah"), the band switches into a solid rock beat. Werner plays eighth notes from all over the neck to give the underpinning to Dugan's searing guitar solo. The song ends with some nonsensical reggae words like "zee-why-oh" and a final "yuh". (If you think about it "ai yai yai" isn't any better than "zee-why-oh".)

In my opinion, these guys are good by any standard. Matisyahu sings from the bottom of his heart, and as our sages said, "Words that come out from the heart enter the heart."

I also give a lot of credit to Matisyahu's rabbi for not stifling Matisyahu's desire to play and perform this kind of music.

5 comments:

Zoe Strickman said...

Your comment commending the rabbi for not stifling his growth moved me. It makes me wonder whether some secular activities which seem to be non-religious can be engaged in if done for the right reasons. It also makes me wonder whether if there is room in halacha for these things, why do some people make it wrong to participate in them? I believe Matisyahu is doing a wonderful thing, bringing G-dliness even into Reggae.

Tovya @ Zion Report said...

I agree with you Cosmic, he really is rather talented. I just found that out recently myself. I do like 'King Without a Crown', but personally I am biased towards his song 'Candle'.

Cosmic X said...

Joe,

There is no problem with "secular activities" as long as they do not violate halacha. I have no doubt that Matisyahu's endeavors puts him in situations that your regular yeshiva bochur wouldn't have to deal with (and I'm sure that he is receiving guidance as to how to deal with these situations ). On the other hand, forcing him to shelve his great talent would be a great example of how NOT to deal with BTs.

ZR,

I only heard "Warrior", "Heights" and "King Without a Crown".

Chaim said...

I saw this already before you left your comment. Welcome to the club .. Matisyahu is something else. Really cool.

Heavy A said...

Hey, I love Matisyahu.

Here is a new blog about Matisyahu, it grows allmost everyday. you can find all you need:

online music
free download mp3
free download albums
interviews
articles
live videos
Matisyahu's bio

* All music is legal !

and more ...
check it out:
http://the-little-things-in-life.blogspot.com

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