CD Review: Brina, Under One Sun

Brina Under One SunTribal Global Records, 2011
www.tribalglobal.com

On the plus side, Under One Sun features memorable tunes, strong reggae rhythms, and a gorgeous, powerful voice. We also get a full load of passionately sung, deeply felt opinions, observations and advice, as well as full musician credits, lyrics, lots of thank-yous, and so on. And oh yes, a brief vocal contribution by Toots Hibbert.

On the thumbs down side, those deeply felt opinions, observations and advice constitute an album’s worth of preaching, preaching, and more preaching, followed by preaching. Not of the Rastafarian persuasion, but Bahai’i, although there’s lots of overlap. Note the album cover, where message subdues good taste. Listen as the sermonettte that begins the first track, a calculated ode to reggae titled “Real Reggae Music,” reveals the album’s agenda: “Let’s get it right, let’s not fight, let’s unite, tonight.” The final song, “Under One Sun,” sums things up pretty much as you’ll have come to expect by that time: “We need a revolution…we need to save society.” Along the way expect to learn lots about Brina the believer, but diddly about Brina the person.

Actually, the final song is not the final word; after 70 seconds of silence there’s what seems an unending spoken litany of what’s bothersome about the world: devastation, dehumanization, murderation, annihilation, destruction, etc.  Strangely, “oversimplification” is about the only “-tion” word that didn’t make the list. Preponderation of cutesification, if you ask me.

But hey, let’s not fight, and let’s not end with negativation. Brina’s voice is a full-bodied, sweet, authoritative, confident vehicle for a wealth of hook-filled tunes. She is earnest and celebratory, tender and scathing as required. There’s some marvelous nyahbinghi along with the one-drop rhythms, and lots of African influences to take in. So go ahead; enjoy it; listen in as Brina saves the world.



About Ted Boothroyd :

Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete. Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood. | View all posts by Ted Boothroyd

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Ted has enjoyed music all his increasingly lengthy life. He has gone through various favorite artists along the way, from his mommy crooning lullabies at crib side to his dad singing folk songs on car trips to The Everly Brothers to Ian and Sylvia to The Dave Brubeck Quartet to The Lovin’ Spoonful to The Kinks to The Miracles to Ravi Shankar to Tchaikovsky to Pentangle to Miriam Makeba to The Red Army Chorus and Band to Captain Beefheart to Gilbert and Sullivan to The McGarrigle Sisters to The Clash to Louis Jordan to The Flying Bulger Klezmer Band to Manu Chao. He has trouble choosing favorites when it comes to reggae - that fixation has been too longstanding and too complete.

Ted started writing about music late in 2002 with a book review in The Beat, continuing with book and album reviews until the magazine's untimely passing. His association with Jahworks.org dates back to 2003, and he has hosted a couple of radio shows featuring reggae and "world music". Ted also sculpts in plaster and wood.

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