Jamaican-born singer-songwriter Etana will reveal arguably her fiercest, most thought-provoking material next week on February 26, 2013. Recorded at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios, Etana’s third studio album Better Tomorrow (VP Records) is a true testament to her evolved sound.
Early accolades have begun to roll in. VIBE proclaims “the reggae ruler is back,” and BBC raves Better Tomorrow is “her most vocally subtle and seamless album to date.” BBC adds that her first single “Reggae” is “perhaps her finest piece of songwriting yet,” and new track “Queen is scorching soulful roots, which fuses Bob Marley with India.Arie.”
With a fresh perspective and baby daughter born in November 2012, Etana offers newfound clarity on Better Tomorrow. Her powerful songwriting and evocative vocals ride effortlessly over soulful reggae melodies on this 14-track collection produced primarily by Jamaica’s own Shane C. Brown of Jukeboxx Recordings. Etana is “moving ahead from struggles of yesterday on a musical journey that uplifts the mind, body and the raw soul,” as she eloquently explains on Better Tomorrow’s intro “Spoken Soul.”
Etana’s indomitable spirit uplifts and inspires generations both old and new. Songs like “Queen,” ignite strength and empowerment, while “Till You Get Old (Life’s Gift)” is an awe-inspiring tale of motherhood and unconditional love (produced by Stanley “Rellee” Hayden). Her unabashed romanticism shines on the r&b tinged “4 Play 2 Love (Start Over)” and on the rhythmic sway of the album’s contagious first single “Reggae.” She combats hopelessness on “Whole New World,” “All I Need” and “Better Tomorrow.” The latter spine-chilling title track addresses the atrocities of children in poverty-stricken communities while instilling optimism for brighter days.
Feel free to post brand new lyrics video for song “4 Play 2 Love (Start Over)”:
Better Tomorrow expands upon her recent digital-only EP Reggae and 2011 sophomore album Free Expressions, which won praise for the being “a rarity: music that sermonizes, yet still sweetly serenades,” according to NPR.org. These releases also follow her 2008 critically acclaimed debut The Strong One, which featured massive hits “Warrior Love,” “Roots” “I Am Not Afraid,” “Blessing” ft. Alborosie and “Wrong Address” that topped reggae charts in The Caribbean, England and United States. Essence.com raved that her “poetic consciousness amid soul-stirring grooves rivals that of gifted neo-soulsters.” Pitchfork chose her debut album as their dancehall pick of the month and gushed about her “fulsome and soulful voicings” and “syrupy love songs.” Vibe magazine claimed she had already “established herself as a formidable performer and songwriter whose music and reputation precedes her.” During this period, Etana was nominated for Best New Reggae Artist at MOBO Awards and awarded Best Female Vocalist at both the Excellence in Music & Entertainment (EME) Awards and IRIE FM Radio Awards as well as the Best Solo Female Reggae Vocalist at the 1st annual Reggae Academy Awards.
Better Tomorrow Track Listing:
1 Spoken Soul
4 Beautiful Day
5 All I Need
6 Whole New World
7 4 Play 2 Love (Start Over)
9 Till You Get Old (Life’s Gift)
10 The Prayer
12 Be Alright (Interlude)
14 Better Tomorrow