Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Matisyahu Track from 'Youth'

JEWNIproj EXCLUSIVE: Click here to download a lo-fi , live-recorded MP3 from Matisyahu's upcoming CD 'Youth' and if you like it, make sure you buy the CD. I also posted the lyrics below as far as I could hear and discern them, and there may be mistakes. If I did make a mistake, or if you can understand the parts I labeled as "indiscernible," please let me know. Also, Matisyahu's new collaboration with POD is available for listening on their MySpace here. Also (and maybe most importantly), Matisyahu is coming to SANTA CRUZ on Thursday, February 23rd!!! Believe it or not. And he got a new domain where you can buy tickets etc at He's also playing in SFC on Saturday, February 25th. Enjoy!

Matis 'Youth' Lyrics

some of them come now
some of them are running
some of them are looking for fun
some of them are looking for a way out of confusion
some of them don't know what to be
some of them don't know where to go
some of them trust their instincts that something's missing from the show
some don't fit society,
insides are crying low
some of them teachers quash the flame before it had a chance to grow
some of them embers still glow
them charcoal, hushed and low
some of them come with the hunger suppressed, not fed
them feel a death blow


young man, control in your hand
slam your fist on the table and make your demand
take a stand
fan a fire for the flame of the youth
got the freedom to choose
better make the right move
young man, the power's in your hand
slam your fist on the table and make your demand
you better make the right move

"youth is the engine of the world"

Storm the halls of vanity
focus your own energy
into a laser beam
streaming shattered light
unites to pierce
between the seams
and it seems
in a world open
peering, the children see
rapid fire for your mind
half a truth is just a lie
they refuse them a way
then say "now why you fall behind?"

seventeen, disconnect, left out
the concept as to why
there's a spiritual emptiness
so the youth them get vexed
skip class and get wrecked
feel with beer and cigarettes
to fill the hole in their chest!


freedom to choose
better make the right move
got the freedom to chooooose



These lyrics are noticeably different from the "Open up my lips and my mouth shall declare your praise" of Matis' previous lyrical ventures. The content is not explicitly Jewish, but rather a characteristic appeal to the jaded "youth" of our generation. Some people have attributed the shift in focus to Matis' switch to Sony, and have suggested pressure from the corporation to conform. I doubt that, because it's Matis' essential Jewishness that makes him unique, and it is his revolutionary Torah and Chassidic references that so intrigue his audiences.

I first heard about Matisyahu more than a year ago from yeshivish friends of mine while I was learning in Jerusalem. What a rush it was to hear music like that with lyrics that a dead head at Bonnaroo or even my rabbi could listen to! In fact, I remember one instance last year, while I was in shiur at Mayanot, my rabbi asked how many Yidden got left behind in Egypt, and I answered 4/5. He asked where I had learned it, I said from Matisyahu. At the time, his was still an ambiguous name and the significance was lost on that particular occasion. But had 'Youth' been the title track of the 'Arise' CD, would he have had the same appeal? But then again, rabbis and yeshiva bochrim aren't the target demographic.

For a number of weeks now, Matis' 'King Without a Crown' has been the number one song on 106.7 KROQ, the most popular radio station among teenagers and young adults in Southern California. It's quite a trip to be cruising the 405 with the radio blaring, and to have Matis' deep and soulful musings on G-d, Moshiach, and Avodat HaLev stream in over the radio (and it's a whole different experience when I'm cruisin with my brother who has a phatty sound system). Matisyahu's remake of the 'King Without a Crown' music video has been circulating now for over a month, and another new video from the 'Youth' CD is due out anytime soon. Some people were paying upwards of $150-200 for tickets to his sold-out December 31st show in San Diego (however, at the door they were paying more like $50, I was there).

Yet, despite the overwhelming popularity and fame, Matis has remained humble and one of my favorite parts of his shows are the words of Torah he gives over. When you meet him, he comes off as soft-spoken and humble, and you feel that he genuinely listens to what you have to say. Some have compared his wide appeal and kiruv effect to Shlomo Carlebach z"l, but I don't think there is any real comparison. Matis is spreading Torah and Mitzvahs in his own way, and hopefully there will be more spiritually charged tracks on the new CD than the current track, above. Time will tell.

Do Matis a favor, and if you like the CD, buy it and don't burn it from your friends. He is a dedicated chassid and a husband and a father. Hope you enjoy the JewniProj exclusive. Praises to the Most High, and yasher koach Matisyahu.


Blogger Rabbi Yonah said...

Hey Uriel, I'm sitting here with Derek "David Odom" and Rafi Minc, and we heard this great new song, and read your great ideas posted here!

I really agree with all you have written.

It is great that there are least four people signed up for JTB2 from Santa Cruz!

We'll be seeing you all soon.

Sat Jan 21, 09:09:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

check out my blog about Matusyahu :

where you can get his albums for free and legal :

click here

Tue Jan 24, 02:45:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Mon May 22, 11:10:00 AM 2006  

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