Album Review: Brina - Under One Sun
Another innovative album straight from an Edna Manley College of the Performing Arts context, from another ex-background singer proving that she is talented to reach higher heights, again in collaboration with Jubba White (Dubtonic Kru), but this time with the involvement of what reads like a who-is-who of Jamaican roots reggae, and more than that: in April 2012, Brina had released her debut album Under One Sun. In this case, the REGGAEVILLE team presents its excuses for paying attention to this musical gem so late. Let me present it to you in brief. I start with some background information about this promising songstress you might not have read much about so far.
Brina grew up in a Christian family with Maroon roots. She started her musical career in a gospel group in High School that performed with some of the island‘s most renowned gospel singers, including Papa San and Carlene Davis. She met her husband Kieran C. Murray, a lecturer in bass guitar at Edna Manley College, in 2007 while she studied there. Together with him, she started to work on her debut album in 2008.
Few artists make such a splash with their debut as does Brina, and apart from her well-trained vocal skills, that is largely due to the numerous guest musicians. Under One Sun features Sly Dunbar and Jubba White on drums, Toots Hibbert on guest vocals (Guns And Roses), Jallanzo and Luke Dixon (both Dubtonic Kru) on guitar and keyboards, and Rupert Bent III and Omar Francis on guitars. Further we find Michael “Ibo” Cooper, Demar Gayle (Raging Fyah), Sheldon Bernard, Stephen Maxwell, and Jerome Tulloch on pianos and keys. No other than Dean “Cannonball” Fraser on saxophone, plus Nambo Robinson and Dwight Richards on horns. Nyahbingi drummings are provided by Calvin Mitchell and Phillip Supersad on this album produced by Kieran Murray, who also took care of the bass lines. Mainly responsible for putting the meaning of eclecticism here to a whole new level are John Barnes III from Los Angeles, who lent his helping hand to vocal production, the Canadian JB Eckl (Santana) on guitar, Columbian drummer Istvan Dely on percussions, and US American Paul Gonzales on latin funk flavored drums. The mixing was done by Jon Rezin (Santana, Maroon 5), while Errol Brown (Bob and Ziggy Marley) took care of Listen and Real Reggae Music.
Under One Sun draws its influences from all corners of African and the African diasporas‘ musics, with reggae and gospel being the headcornerstones. It is a soulful version of roots rock reggae, often spiced up with Nyahbinghi drumming, and not shy of embracing (mainly South) African and Brazilian/Latin as well as international pop elements. There is so much to disvocer here that you should listen to it over and over again to discover all the details and astuces. Whether Brina pays tribute to reggae music itself, sings suffering kids to sleep, demands access to education for everyone, fights for general equality, or spreads hope for a better tomorrow: she always sounds deeply honest, powerful and convincing. And yet, from the first tune Real Reggae Music to the last one, a hidden bonus track that might take you some time to getting used to, one discovers new sides of her musical personality by the minute. Especially noteworthy is her loving tribute to Lucky Dube (a reinterpretation of his eternal Guns And Roses, together with Toots Hibbert), who is maybe the most underrated reggae legend in the die-hard reggae community - even though her voice falls a bit short in this case of keeping up with the legend‘s own powerful original.
Do not miss out on this multifaceted, thorougly enchanting early masterpiece of one of reggae music‘s most promising young talents!
Brina - Under One Sun
CD / DIGITAL RELEASE [Tribal Global Productions]
Release date: 4/12/2012
01. Real Reggae Music
02. Feet Don't Fail Me Now
03. Lala Vizuri (Sleep My Little Baby)
04. Where Is Your African Pride?
05. Daughter Of Zion
06. Simple Progression
07. Interlude - Binghi Breathing Space
08. Soul's Song
10. Guns And Roses Feat. Toots Hibbert
11. We Are Free
12. Under One Sun
Featured artists: Toots & The Maytals