Tuesday, 28 June 2016

FRESH TRACKS: Hear these sizzling new tunes from Etana, Protoje, Dre Russell and Shaggy

“I Got You”
Her sudden departure from the entertainment radar a few years ago left fans wondering, ‘Where is Jovi Rockwell?’ Turns out the rebel child was on a self-imposed hiatus from the spotlight but still nurturing her talent. Now, she’s back, sounding bolder than ever, as she lends Shaggy some sturdy support on this peppery track that’s all about ‘grown-folks business.’ But what distinguishes the tune from Shaggy’s previous heatseekers is the funky old-school sample it draws on, combined with bouncy dancehall pop and a hefty dose of Shaggy’s trademark swagger. B+ [Take a listen]

“The Way I Are (Natural Woman)
“Love me for me, not just for what you see,” Etana declares on this radio-ready slice of groovy reggae-soul. Production-wise, the track marks a slightly edgy departure for the seasoned songbird but lyrically it’s quintessential Etana – a talented songwriter and virtuous woman who is all about self-acceptance, self-worth, warrior love and natural beauty – while imploring her sisters (and brothers) to do the same. B+ [Take a listen]

“Weh Di Party At?”
From Usain Bolt’s Vybz Kartel remix to Darren Bravo’s “Champion,” Caribbean sportsmen have never been afraid of grabbing the mic to drop a few bars, letting the fans (and the world) know that their talents and interests go further than the playing field. Now comes Andre Russell’s “Weh Di Party At?”, a slinky, in-your-face track that meshes the worlds of dancehall and hip-hop. While Russell’s playful jam doesn’t hit us for a six, it’s respectable enough for a trip or two across the boundary. B [Take a listen]

“Glad You’re Home”
If there’s one thing Protoje has had going for him ever since he burst onto the roots-reggae scene, it’s his versatility – that alluring blend of consciousness, compassion and lyrical food for though and the occasional rude-boy lyrics for the ladies (“No Lipstick”, anyone”?). You get a bit of everything on this winner, a vintage-sampling instant classic about that “you-can-ring-my-bell” kinda love. As ever, the singjay’s clever wordplay and infectious melodies make you a believer. A- [Take a listen]

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