Etana: Reggae Positivity, Classic And Contemporary
Think of Etana as reggae's Jill Scott: She's a Jamaican soul singer with a voice that's rich, robust and saturated in the right kind of buoyancy — sage but never preachy. Etana's sophomore album Free Expressions, released last month, serves up more positive messages than a self-help book, but thanks to crisp reggae production and that undeniably stunning voice, its tunes are never cloying. Case in point: "People Talk," a catchy anthem about keeping your head up high in the face of gossipers and backbiters. "Never let them take away your livity / Live your life and be free," Etana croons. "I and I will survive."
The song is a perfect mélange of classic and contemporary. A roots-reggae bassline, accented by well-placed horns, has an old-school feel, but Etana's vocals seamlessly blend Jamaican Patois, R&B-style English and soul-sounding intonation. The result is a rarity: music that sermonizes, yet still sweetly serenades.
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