Etana – Better Tomorrow – Review
By simply looking at her name; Etana which translates from it’s Swahili origin to meaning ‘The Strong One,’ we instantly begin to see the courage and strength that Shauna McKenzie carries with her throughout this journey that we call life. Having recognised the power of music and it’s widespread influence in the early 2000’s, Etana has continued to combine her desire to bring forth change with her distinctively sweet vocals and her natural, cultural presence.
Whilst her raw talent has previously been exhibited on her debut album ‘The Strong One’ and once more on the sophomore album ‘Free Expressions,’ the new album ‘Better Tomorrow’ is said to be her most confident and cohesive collection of work to date. Recorded at Kingston’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios, this album saw Etana team up with Shane C. Brown of Kingston’s Juke Boxx Productions (one of the producers behind Busy Signal’s “Reggae Music Again,”) and Stanley “Rellee” Hayden of New York’s A Team Music. Stating herself that she “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),” it is of no surprise that we have been presented with such a masterpiece.
With each track telling a story of an experience or withholding a moral, the exquisite songwriting which we often associate with Etana has to be applauded once again. Featuring the hit Reggae which was also featured on the 3 track digital EP released back in November, the album entails tracks Better Tomorrow; encouraging the celebration of life’s blessings which we often take for granted, 4 Play 2 Love (Start Over) which is already obtaining a lot of attention worldwide, and more personal tracks such as Til’ You Get Old where Etana makes a moving pledge of love to her infant daughter, this album is a must-have for your music collection.
Overall, the positive vibrations that are instilled within this album are truly uplifting and inspirational to anyone who is willing to lend an ear. I was personally captured from the moment that I pressed play on the very first track Spoken Soul where we see Etana speaking from the soul discussing life as it is today.
“In these selfish, sexual and demonic days, young minds find it hard to concentrate, cyan (can’t) meditate, confused, drowning in electro waves/in everything there is good and bad but everything in due time and due season, which is the reason I say there’ll come a time to sing a brand new song, there’ll be Better Tomorrow.”