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Adam R. Holz
Bob Smithouser

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

Jewish orthodoxy informs this disc’s social consciousness and spirituality. The artist-as-soldier cries out for God’s aid on “What I’m Fighting For” and “Indestructible.” “Jerusalem” is a love letter to a ragtag nation that recalls Holocaust horrors and anticipates the rebuilding of the temple (“3,000 years with no place to be … Erase the demons out of our memory”). On “WP” and “Fire of Heaven/Altar of Earth” there’s a sharp contrast between hearts that burn for God and those on a quest for earthly pleasures. A father worries about his prodigal daughter (“Dispatch the Troops”), while “Youth” are urged to “take a stand … focus your energy.” Cuts express love for God (the Top-40 single “King Without a Crown”) and consider the pursuit of spiritual wholeness a deeply romantic endeavor for couples (“Unique Is My Dove”). The latter boils life down to this credo: “Stay simple, serve God, and keep our deeds clean.”

Objectionable Content


Summary Advisory

Born Matthew Miller, Matisyahu is a one-man mash-up of radically different worlds: Rasta music and Hasidic Judaism. Smothered by pulsating beats and reggae-babble, lyrics express devotion to God and invite listeners to join the party with a bold emphasis on purity, unity and obedience. It’s a Savior short of being a Christian disc.

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

Bob Smithouser
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