Favorite

Matisyahu 

With Pigeon John. Saturday, November 19, at the Odeon.

Anyone who's been subjected to Baha'i ska or Krishna punk can tell you that Christianity is not the problem with Christian rock -- it's the manipulation of secular music with religion. Reggae, on the other hand, is religious music in the first place, with a distinctly Judaic root. No surprise, then, that Matisyahu, Brooklyn's Hassidic reggae cantor, eludes the stilted craftiness of religious pop.

Matisyahu's rapid dancehall toasting and Yiddish-inflected wails flow breezily along with their spiritual contents. On last year's Shake Off the Dust . . . Arise, it all feels like native ground, which is a real achievement for a guy who discovered both reggae and Judaism well after his formative years. His lyrics are made of prayers and exaltations rather than stories or politics, which could explain why they have yet to communicate the kind of universal power of Bob Marley's Rastafarianism or Van Morrison's Christianity. Then again, Matisyahu is all of 26.

Speaking of Previews

Latest in Livewire

More by Andrew Marcus

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Jake the Snake Roberts @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Tue., Sept. 27
  • Mark Normand @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Wed., Sept. 28
  • Don "DC" Curry @ Improv Comedy Club & Restaurant

    • Thu., Sept. 29

© 2016 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation