Matisyahu’s debut pulses with rapturous reggae

Matisyahu’s debut pulses with rapturous reggae

So after all the buildup, after the Hasidic Jewish singer became an unlikely Pied Piper luring U.S. rock fans to reggae music, how does Matisyahu do on his major-label studio album debut (due in stores Tuesday)?

It’s notable that despite its hip-hop touches and experimental quirks, Matisyahu’s is a fairly undiluted form of roots reggae. Like the 2005 live album that sparked his popularity, the new music is a dead-serious expression of the genre’s bedrock issues — spiritual solace, the plight of the exile, the struggle for freedom, the value of community.

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