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iTunes Review

As a Hasidic Jewish reggae musician, Matisyahu cut an unlikely figure when he burst on the global music scene in 2005. Now the rapper/singer’s beliefs have shifted to the point where he’s shaved his beard and shed the black suits. Saying that this album is his most personal statement to date, Matisyahu backs that up in songs like the anthemic “Champion,” “Hard Way,” and “Star on the Rise,” where lyrics detail his feelings of isolation and creative rebirth. He's backed by Brooklyn’s Dub Trio (which is also his touring band), and the sounds of Jamaica can still be heard on songs like the rootsy “Black Heart” and “Confidence.” But there’s also the alternative rock of the opening track (“Reservoir”) and the love songs “Ayeka (Teach Me to Love)” and “Built to Survive (Featuring Zion I),” the latter of which sounds more like Coldplay than Jimmy Cliff. Matisyahu's skills as a top-flight rapper have never sounded better than on “Star on the Rise” and “Vow of Silence (Shalom).” He's not holding anything back; Akeda is a compelling listening as Matisyahu finds his way.

Customer Reviews

Love it

My favorite album since Youth, great to hear new music from Matisyahu. I love the flow of the album...particularly Surrender and Broken Car.


A true masterpiece of the ever-evolving Matisyahu. Probably the most personal of his albums, covering his struggle with the world's perception of him and his journey with Judaism and fatherhood. Not to be compared to his former albums that possess a more reggae sound, but to be looked at as something entirely separate... A true and unapologetic expression of himself.

Matisyahu's music has lost its touch

This album and the other most recent one have been very disappointing, this one more so. I loved his original sound with the poetic meaningful lyrics and deep reggae grooves played by actual instruments.
His new stuff sounds like any meaningless hip-hop / rap combined with the same old techno beats you would hear on a top-10 radio station, he even sounded like he had auto-tune over his already amazing voice on a few songs.
Unless returns to his old true style I am starting to not bother with buying his music anymore


Born: June 30, 1979 in Westchester, PA

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When Matisyahu emerged in 2004 with his debut album, Shake Off the Dust...Arise, his musical persona seemed a novelty to some. Here was a Hasidic Jew -- dressed in a black suit with a broad-brimmed black hat worn over a yarmulke, and sporting a full, untrimmed beard -- who nevertheless performed toasting raps about the glories of traditional Judaism over reggae beats in a dancehall style directly from Jamaica. Moreover, he punctuated his performances with stage diving. It may have seemed like a joke...
Full Bio
Akeda, Matisyahu
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Customer Ratings