Jewish-American musician Matisyahu has released a CD entitled Spark Seeker with a new sound and a new look. His well-known long beard and sidecurls are now gone, as are most of the distinctive Jamaican reggae flavored tunes. But what remains unaltered are the positive vibe and spiritually uplifting message in his music and lyrics.
Such songs as Tel Aviv'n and Bal Shem Tov express a love for the Jewish religion and homeland. Like on previous releases, there are not always overt Jewish references in the lyrics, but subtle allusions to different hassidic and kabbalistic concepts that could be appreciated by a broad audience.
In an interview with Aish HaTorah's Aish.com website, Matisyahu stated, "I am still committed to Judaism, to seeking truth through halakha (Jewish law) and observance, but I needed to reconnect to it in a different manner than I did when I first became 'religious.' I guess you can say it's been a process of maturing religiously and coming to realize that some of what I took on 10 years ago no longer expresses a part of me. I imagine this is a process many Baal Teshuvas go through. I just get to do it in public."
Also featured on the album is Shyne, the rap star who now studies in a Jerusalem yeshiva. Israeli musician Ravid Kalahani of the band Yemen Blues also makes a guest appearance, adding a Middle Eastern flavor.