Matisyahu, 'Light' (Epic)

6
Light
Critical Mass
Label: Epic

by Mikael Wood

No longer content to be the world's foremost Hasidic reggae star -- what an ingrate! -- Matisyahu expands his sound on the follow-up to 2006's major-label breakthrough Youth, punching up his earnest ruminations on faith and inspiration with sleek hip-hop beats and shiny pop-rock guitars. Partial credit probably should go to producer David Kahne, whose work with Sublime and Sugar Ray virtually defined the concept of radio-readiness. Devotees from Matisyahu's jam-scene days might balk, but fans of the Black Eyed Peas/Jack Johnson collabo "Gone Going" will rejoice.

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