Etana

Reggae Still Got Soul With Etana

I Rise starts off gently with just keyboards and Etana’s super-soulful voice reverently singing the Rastafarian lyrics sung by Bob Marley with The Wailers on ‘Selassie Is The Chapel’.

Bring on track two of I Rise and Etana’s calm, emotive reverence shifts to emotional outcry about how very long the people’s suffering at the hands of their leaders goes on. Kick in drums, bass, guitar and horns and if you’re the kind of person who reggae music moves, then the sounds of those instruments will surely penetrate you to the core; make you feel and move inside and out; in that way that good reggae music does.

Etana - I Rise (2014)

Etana – I Rise (2014)

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‘How Long’ – Etana – I Rise

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On every I Rise track thereafter ‘How Long’, you’ve got yourself some consistently well played, light and steady, feel-right reggae with distinctively-Etana-styled splashes of soul, r&b and gospel. You have Etana’s flawless voice singing socially-conscious, positive lyrics themed around Jamaican female pride, unconditional love, friendship, heartbreak, inequality and injustice, spirituality, religious emancipation, liberation, courage, loyalty and strength.

‘Ward 21 (Stenna’s Song)’ – Etana – I Rise

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Etana - I Rise (2014)

The album’s final specialty is a dubbed-out, slow jam track dedicated entirely to Etana expressing admiration, respect and thanks to “the greatest” of artists who collaborated with her in the creation of I Rise. I appreciate Etana for taking the time to acknowledge them. I respect her even more for the fact that in times when so many people choose digital over hard-copy music and won’t have the pleasure of poring over a vinyl or cd booklet and getting to know the names of the people involved in its creation, Etana makes I Rise listeners do so via audio transmission.

Get to know the names yourself here on ‘Jam Credits’:

‘Jam Credits’ – Etana – I Rise

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If those sample I Rise tracks make you feel good, the choice is there to buy the album on vinyl or cd. As well as the chance that gives you to pore over the album artwork and credits in print, you’ll be able to hear and appreciate more of the delightful sounds of Clive Hunt, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare and other “great, great” artists who recorded I Rise with Etana than you can in dirty, compressed mp3-style.

Etana - I Rise (2014)

Check out songs from Etana’s last album Better Tomorrow here.

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A Better Today And Tomorrow With Etana

If the soulful voice of Jamaican diva Etana over the reggae skank in her music don’t make you feel good, or at least better, I don’t know what possibly will.

Etan

Soul Diva of Reggae

Etana is an Angie Stone, Jill Scott, India Arie or Leela James of reggae music. Like those divas of stature in the soul/r&b world, Etana’s vocal musicality and sublime sounding voice are delightful to listen to time and timelessly again. Also like those ladies, Etana’s lyrics are positive and conscious ones, full of emotion. Because finally like Angie, Jill, India and Aria, Etana is all Woman.

Her 2013 album Better Tomorrow was a refreshing dose of flawlessly played, good contemporary reggae music. It maintained the warm, living, gentle sounds and feelings of old-school roots reggae (helped by the fact it was mostly recorded at Kingston’s Tuff Gong Studios); but also bought the sound into the modern day with subtle flavours of other music genres in the mix.

Etana - Better Tomorrow (2013)

Better Tomorrow (2013)

“Reggae is Reggae”

“You can’t mix reggae with other things. Reggae is Reggae.”  

Those were the words of one Jamaican to me about Jamaican music.

Of course you can mix reggae with any other style of music (some more successfully than others no doubt 🙂 ). Music artists all over the world do so – with very cool musical results. Jamaican artists living outside of Jamaica do so too. Etana is one of them.

Better Tomorrow is reggae music for sure. But it’s reggae infused with subtle, flavorsome sounds of soul, r&b, gospel and funk.

For Etana and the other music artists in the world making fresh sounding ‘reggae fusion’ (as well as for ‘reggae reggae’ artists) the musical world is a much richer one.

Whether it’s ‘reggae that’s just reggae’ or not, listening to Etana’s music and hearing her soulful voice, makes me feel good.   It makes my today a better one. Simple isn’t it? Good ole Music Medicine.

Get a dose yourself with these sample Etana tracks from Better Tomorrow. Don’t be fooled by the compressed mp3 version. Imagine the goodness of the many other sounds you’ll hear in the music if you get it on vinyl or cd.

Etana - Better Tomorrow (2013)

Better Tomorrow (2013)

‘Queen’ – Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013)

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‘Whole New World’ – Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013)

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‘Better Tomorrow’ – Etana – Better Tomorrow (2013)

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You feel good now, right?  Or at least better than before you listened yes?

The good news to make our tomorrow better is that another dose of Etana’s music medicine is coming soon with the October 28th release of her new album I Rise.

Thankfully we can definitely buy this new release in hard-copy – and pre-order it from VP Records.

Etana - I Rise (2014)

I Rise (2014)

Etana has 2 other albums before Better Tomorrow. You can buy each cd separately or get the set of 3 for a great price through VP.

Etana - Better Tomorrow (2013)

Better Tomorrow (2013)

Etana - Free Expressions (2011)

Free Expressions (2011)

Etana - The Strong One (2008)

The Strong One (2008)

 

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Extra lucky peeps can have themselves the live Etana experience at New Zealand’s Raggamuffin festival this December.

Etana @ Raggamuffin Music Festival 2014

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