Etana I Rise on LP
I Rise (2014), which was helmed by the legendary Jamaican multi-instrumentalist and producer Clive Hunt, followed roots reggae artist Etana's critically-acclaimed albums Better Tomorrow (2013), Free Expressions (2011) and The Strong One (2008). The Jamaican singer-songwriter's melodic power blended with Hunt's rich arrangements sets this album apart as one of the best throughout her stellar career. Etana carries the torch as reggae's leading lady with this classic collection of love ballads and roots anthems.
With her poised assurance and newfound strength, she evolves spiritually, mentally, emotionally and musically. Whether she shedding light on the harsh ghetto realities on "Trigger," "Ward 21 (Stenna's Song)" and "How Long," conveying romantic longings on "Richest Girl," "Love Song," and "By Your Side" or expressing her deep-rooted spirituality on the exquisite Bob Marley remake of "Selassie Is The Chapel," the Marcia Griffith's cover of "Stepping Out Of Babylon" "Emancipation" and "On My Way" – each of the album's tracks is delivered with her soulful conviction.
Hunt (Stevie Wonder, Peter Tosh, Rolling Stones, The Wailers, Grace Jones, Jimmy Cliff) arranged an all-star team of the island's musicians to contribute to the set – including himself, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Grub Cooper, Handel Tucker, and Dean Fraser. It all added up to a No. 1 showing on the U.S. Billboard Reggae Album chart making Etana one of the three Jamaican female artists ever and the first in nearly two decades (since Diana King and Patra in the mid-90s) to land this highly-coveted chart position.