In listening to the new Reggae Duets 9INE project from Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson out now on Shanachie, the adjective solid just kept popping into my head. Not solid as in satisfactory or adequate but solid as in this project is immersed solidly in the Reggae idiom as advertised but at the same time not faux and pretentious as forays into different genres that an artist is not know for (see: Pat Boone’s Heavy Metal recording).

Anchored by the lead single “Feel The Fire” the mood of the entire set is pretty much encapsulated in this song’s title. How could it not be? Obviously Jamaica is not known for its harsh Winters and the music needs to reflect that and 9INE does not disappoint.

From the set opener “Alright” throughout the 10 song collection the Island Breeze is fully felt. This is an area that when done well as 9INE is, would be great to see artist afforded the freedom to express themselves in other musical interests from Classical to Country, again when done right and the music is respected.

Clearly Musiq Soulchild and Syleena Johnson respect the music and I’m recommending that you add 9INE to your collection for those hot and cold evenings alike to add the perfect musical flame.

Out now!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.