Jamaican singer/songwriter Etana’s latest body of work evokes another album she did with VP Records. Better Tomorrow, her third studio album saw her work with one producer, Shane Brown of Jukeboxx productions. This latest project, released on June 19, 2020 following her 2019 Dimensions EP, is dubbed Gemini, and she hooks up with one producer as well, Andre Morris.
“The Gemini album is fun and filled with love,” Etana explains. “It also shows some versatility. As I go through life, I apply my experience and knowledge to my own life and the music. Naturally, the music will change with time,” she adds.
The first track on the album is uptempo 100 On The Highway, and the message is clear. It finds Etana being the soulful voice of encouragement. All the struggles are on the rearview mirror, and all she is doing is cruising on the highway. Isn’t that what we all want some time? Just crank up the volume on the stereo and hope this song comes right up as you cruise on the highway.
Gemini album’s lyrical content and substance remain timeless and covers a wide range of topics. The modern Easy To Let Go is a reminder of how diverse Etana can be on a track. The modern pop beats and the love theme prevails on this reminiscing track to a lover. This one perhaps her finest piece of love songwriting yet.
Sticking on that theme, you find the track Deception, which has yet another dancehall-pop beats angle to it. The song carries a certain dancehall attitude flavor as Etana is fed up with the cheater lover and asks him to pack up. She is not one to have her time wasted.
Love has that audacious fusion of folk, soul, jazz, and reggae spiced into it. But her distinctive soulful vocals on this track drive her passion for that deep love. A provocative statement embodies this track: “Love don’t make me forget what it feels like to feel you.” It is one of the tracks on the album that really portrays her powerful vocal range.
Bubble has that rock and groove vibe for the dance that gets a girl bubbling on her man as they skank sweetly on the dance floor. The island rhythm on this track, coupled with the ska and roots reggae underlying instrumental and horns, make this a classy anthem.
Secret Lovers, released in 1985, was the third single from As the Band Turns, the sixth album from American group Atlantic Starr. Etana recruits Wiya for her own version of the soulful track with that folk, soul, jazz, and reggae spiced into it.
Tight Space featuring the lyrical deity Kabaka Pyramid is another notable collaboration on the project. Her refined harmonies, coupled with Pyramid’s toasting, bring that bounce to the anthem.
Jamaica featuring Bugle, No-Maddz & Yasha is a thoughtful and reflective track. The beat is a groovy Rock beat rooted in back vocals that just make this track delicious.
Talk About It is another meditative song that sees Etana passionately gets you to stop and just do what the song says, “talk about it.” Do not bottle it in the blows. She evokes that warrior mentality in all of us deeply engraved.
Gemini is perhaps Etana’s most diverse, yet seamless album to date.
- On The Highway
- Secret Lovers feat. Wiya
- Tight Space feat. Kabaka Pyramid
- Anything For You
- Easy To Let Go
- Talk About It
- Jamaica feat. Bugle, No-Maddz & Yasha
- Party & Smoke