9ine was written and recorded in only nine days – hence the album title – and was supposed to have hit the streets in March last year, but was delayed until September. The album is a strictly reggae affair, even though it’s highly influenced by sexy R&B, stylish soul and sophisticated pop.
Both singers get to plenty of space to showcase their vocal proweness – at their own and together. Both are highly talented and they have effortlessly acclimatized to Flava’s gentle, but sometimes plastic, reggae grooves.
Highlights include album opener Alright – especially its break – and Feel the Fire, a romantic piece that borrows heavily from Billy Joel’s 80s hit We Didn’t Start the Fire.
With the uplifting 9ine Musiq, Syleena Johnson and Kemar McGregor break barriers, but don’t expect any more reggae from this trio soon. In an interview with Boomshots Syleena Johnson speaks freely about the working relationship with Kemar McGregor, a relationship that seems to have had its fair share of difficulties.
Anyhow, both singers are definately up for recording more reggae and it would be a certified scorcher if they could work with producers giving them riddims with more edge and depth. U.S. production trio Zion I Kings could probably make wonders with Musiq and Syleena Johnson.