CD REVIEW: Matisyahu "Light"

When a Hasidic Jewish reggae singer from Brooklyn came onto the scene a few years ago, everyone was in awe of the gimmick. Except, it was no gimmick. Matisyahu is the real deal and performs reggae music just as good as anyone from Jamaica. He's like the Jewish Bob Marley. On the heels of his successful live album and critically acclaimed major label debut, he's back with a new collection of songs that don't just fit in the reggae mold. Some of his best stuff is featured on this disc, which is like a mosaic of musical styles. Rock is fully represented on "So Hi So Lo" and "Motivate," while a softer folksier side is showcased on "I Will Be Light," a track co-written by Trevor Hall that could be one of Matisyahu's best recordings to date. "Smash Lies" and "Struggla" show off his new school reggae chops, blending elements of hip hop and dancehall into his rootsy style. The highlight of the album is "One Day" which is destined to become Matisyahu's "One Love." Unlike his reggae smash hit "King Without A Crown," this first single is less heavy on the reggae, and incredibly heavy on the message. It connects with any and all listeners, and will surely be the song that drives the widespread success of this album. Matisyahu is one of today's prolific musicians, and this album proves that he's no one hit wonder.