Ruth-Ann Brown’s five-song EP expands and enriches preconceived notions about reggae artists. The Jamaican singer-songwriter blends pop, soul, and acoustic stylings into her reggae-rooted compositions. With its swelling electric guitar-organ-deep bass-drums introduction, “I Love You” delivers what most listeners recognize as the hypnotic reggae sound. Brown sways in a more soulful direction of “Unfamiliar Feelings,” fueled by rhythmic percussion and colored by an unexpected flute playout.
“Chillin’ With My Baby” is the kind of catchy reggae-pop that sounds like a hit single. The layered production highlights Brown’s multi-tracked voice, silky keyboard textures, and a memorable chorus.
Showing her depth and versatility, Brown opens and closes the disc with a pair of acoustic numbers. Accompanied only by acoustic guitar and percussion, she challenges personal and romantic preconceptions on the intimate “Here Come The Critics.” The 20-minute disc closes with “Jamdown,” a impassioned plea stamped with her fresh, natural voicing of socially-aware lyrics. Digging deeply into reggae’s emotional power, these two acoustic tracks unveil an expressive singer-songwriter with distinctive blue-beat pipes.