Nadine Sutherland

Say My Name (Eight76)

The calypso anthem "Big Tingz" on Kingston-based singer Nadine Sutherland's new album, Say My Name, would be the perfect opener for the annual Best of the Best reggae festival over Memorial Day weekend at Miami's Bayfront Park. You can visualize people bawling out "yeah" in a sea of Caribbean flags as Nadine calls out the people of St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad, Cuba, Haiti, and (for the purposes of this song) Miami as a country all its own. Sutherland was a popular vocalist on dancehall gems of the Nineties, most notably the tune "Action" by Shabba Ranks, but that was ages ago. She's finally returned with a new album, her first in more than ten years, and it's got a local connection through her record label, Eight76 Records, and through Kenyroy "YahBreeze" Archibald, a Broward County-based audio whiz who executive produced the entire album. His style comes off as drab when approaching Sutherland's ballads, but he offers a few uptempo rockers reminiscent of her heyday. The disc's almost-title track, "Call My Name," is a laid-back, midtempo number featuring flamenco guitar, but the strength of her singing becomes evident on sassier tracks like the one-drop reggae tune "It's My Day" and the rough, R&B-tinged dancehall burner "Fox Can't Get the Grape." She's found a solid collaborator in Archibald, but he tends to be formulaic in his songwriting. We may not hear anything surprising or new here, but this album does a fine job of lending support and reinscribing a musical talent that's already been established.

 
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