A stellar follow-up to her archetypal debut Ashes on the Windowsill, the ethereal Barbican Square finds the highly regarded singer-songwriter-musician-song stylist exploring everything from the complexities of human relationships ("Almost Flatlining") to the heart and mind concerns she has for her homeland and its people, particularly the less fortunate (the conscious-cool title track). Equal parts indie-reggae alt-folk-rock, the 13-track album reveals a terrific talent oozing pure artistry. DOWNLOAD: "A Light Left On"
BOOK: Lorna Goodison's Supplying Salt and Light (McLelland & Stewart)
A million words have been split to describe the transporting beauty and sheer lyrical delight of Goodison's work, rooted in Afro-Caribbean sensibilities and anchored by a keen global outlook that in turn lends her poetry and prose a certain universal resonance. Those of us who've leafed through (and read) her most recent anthology can't help but marvel at the refreshing nuances she captures while detailing her sojourn through Spain and Portugal, elsewhere in Europe and Africa and such nostalgic Jamaican locales as Goldeneye in Oracabessa. In the end, it's a winning collection from one of the Caribbean's leading literary voices who continues to beautifully fuse hurt and healing, landscape and language.
DVD: Silver Linings Playbook (Directed by David O. Russell)
The director of such masterful gems as The Fighter and this year's multi-Oscar-nominated American Hustle is fast developing a knack for orchestrating finely tuned ensemble dramas that take on family dynamics and complicated heroes that make for engrossing, highly entertaining cinematic experiences. With 2012's Silver Linings Playbook (about two broken souls who find each other under laugh-out-loud circumstances) yielded dramatic-comedic gold and top-notch turns by stars Jennifer Lawrence, who nabbed the Best Actress Academy Award, and Bradley Cooper, who earned his first nomination.
TALENT: Actor Andrew Grant in Aladdin (The Jamaica Junior Theatre)
Apart from the razzle-dazzle appeal of the latest JJT musical, one of the real pleasures of the production rests in the witty performance offered up by the clever and talented Grant, who impressively breathes full-bodied life into the role of the big, blue, sassy Genie, who, fresh from his Jamaican vacation, brings a vivacious spirit and energy to the show. The audience may see a hilarious young actor displaying commendable comic timing and engaging stage presence, but TALLAWAH sees a genuine star on the rise.