*All Photos courtesy of Tessanne Chin, NBC and Universal Music Group.
After much anticipation, Tessanne Chin’s major label debut album, Count On My Love (2014 Republic Records), is finally here. The season five winner of NBC’s The Voice, who competed on Team Adam Levine (lead singer of Maroon 5), is more than just another reality show champion, but a true artist that has not forgotten where she comes from.
Although iTunes categorizes Count On My Love as pop, the album is heavily rooted in reggae with a touch of dancehall, R&B and dub-step (or as Tessanne calls it, “pop with a Jamaican swag”). The majority of the LP’s songs incorporate Caribbean rhythms mixed with pop melodies to create a unique blend of island vibes that appeals to a universal audience. Tessanne stays true to her heritage by occasionally firing wicked vocal runs in Jamaican patois that are still understandable for non-Jamaican listeners. This element allows her non-Caribbean fans to relate to her lyrics, which is essential to the record’s success.
Tessanne brings reggae to the mainstream with many of her album’s powerful songs. First, the title track, “Count on My Love”, is an optimistic pop-reggae ballad that reassures her lover that her devotion for him will never die, despite their distance apart; she sings on the chorus, “if you ever start questioning us, you can count on my love.” Next, on the uplifting anthem, “Always Tomorrow”, Chin tells her fans “don’t you cry, I’m on your side because there’s always tomorrow”. Her empowering lyrics instill strength within her listeners and give them hope to carry on. Additionally, the emotional “Lifeline”, filled with poignant harmonies, is a romantic dedication to the love of her life. Tess serenades, “cause every little thing that you do, every little thing that you say, lights me up like a moon, gives me strength to be brave, only you can make me feel this way … I will love you until the stars come out, you are my lifeline”. Finally, “Heaven Knows” is a sexy dancehall inspired jam with an infectious beat, perfect for a hot “whine” session in the club.
There’s something for everyone on Count On My Love; whether you’re a reggae purist, dancehall enthusiast or a pop connoisseur, Tessanne balances the album with the right mixture of genres. Her album lives up to the high expectations of her loyal fans and has already become an instant classic with #TeamTessanne.
Although Tessanne Chin is already well known among the reggae community, the mainstream pop world is just starting to discover her incredible musical gifts. The future is sure bright for Tessanne and we look forward to every step of her new musical journey.
Count On My Love is available on iTunes and wherever music is sold.