In May last year I received a promotion e-mail from Kieran C Murray, a Scottish producer and musician. The e-mail contained a double A-side single from a to me unknown Jamaican singer by the name of Brina, who later turned out to be married with Kieran C Murray.
For some reason it took me a week or two before I listened to Real Reggae Music/Listen, and when the music hit me I was almost blown away. It sounded like reggae did in the early 70’s – joyous, up-beat and with plenty of fine-tuned harmonies.
A few weeks ago Brina’s debut album was released. Under One Sun contains twelve songs, and includes her debut A-side single along with the second single Lala Vizuri (Sleep My Little Baby). The other nine songs are previously unreleased.
Under One Sun was recorded in Jamaica and is rooted in the school of one drop, but influences from other genres are apparent throughout the album. You can trace gospel, funk, rock, latin-jazz and Brazilian grooves in instrumentation, arrangements and vocals. All blended together in a pop mixer.
Brina has a powerful voice, at times reminiscent of Marcia Griffiths, and she can skillfully play with melody and handle unexpected tempo changes.
The strongest tracks are still her debut single, but the Dubtonic Kru-produced Daughter of Zion is almost as solid.
Under One Sun however suffers a bit from sounding like a Disney soundtrack to an children’s movie, and The Lion King sometimes comes to mind.
But it is certainly well-produced and very talented people have been involved, ranging from legendary mixing engineer Errol Brown and vocalist Toots Hibbert to Jon Rezin and John Barnes III, who has worked with artists such as Santana, War and Maroon 5.
Under One Sun is available on all major digital download stores and as CD from selected retailers.