Hailed as the “reigning queen of socially conscious reggae” (All Music), Jamaican singer-songwriter Etana released her third album Better Tomorrow on VP Records, this past Tuesday.
Her latest effort is a true testament to her evolved sound. Etana’s indomitable spirit and inspiring songwriting uplifts generations both old and new. Stylistically, Better Tomorrow is a marked departure from her previous material, including The Strong One (2008) and Free Expressions (2011). Instead of incorporating Jamaica’s popular digital riddims, she chose to be backed by all live instrumentation.
“I wanted this album to feel like a concert performance and have everything go together, like chapters in a book, with all of the tracks played live by musicians (not digitally generated),” Etana explained.
The album’s primary producer, Shane C. Brown of Kingston’s Juke Boxx Productions, and Stanley “Rellee” Hayden executed her vision. She recorded all fourteen tracks at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios with Jamaica’s finest modern-day musicians – including saxophonist Dean Fraser, guitarist Lamont Savory, keyboarist Kevon Webster, drummer Kirk Bennett, bassist Aeion Hoilett and percussionist Uziah “Sticky” Thompson.
Etana’s new video for the album’s first single “Reggae” will be revealed at the beginning of March. She plans to embark on a Northeastern U.S. promo tour during the second week of March.
Critics have already begun to sing their praises about Better Tomorrow.
“most vocally subtle and seamless album to date… finest piece of songwriting yet…scorching soulful roots…fuses Bob Marley with India.Arie”
“most accomplished and well-designed album to date…empowering songwriting that poetically advocates high self-esteem and makes the modern everyday struggle sound valiant”
– ALL MUSIC GUIDE
“mature and confident sound with top-notch lyrical content and unique vocals…best album to date”
– ASSOCIATED PRESS