Can Tessanne Count on Jamaica’s Love? Image

by Jordan Delahaye

If you’ve been a fan of Tessanne Chin since before her tour de force on The Voice then you most likely won’t recognise her on Count on My Love. The general consensus from many Jamaicans is an unsavory one, mostly owing to the fact that the Tessanne Chin showcased on Count on My Love, in all her vocal excellence, is not the Tessanne Chin they are used to.

Tessanne Chin trailblazed onto the reggae scene in 2010 with a debut album titled In Between Words. Singles from the album like “Hideaway” and “Messenger” not only showed off her extreme vocal talents but also revealed a certain spunk and panache that earned her the unofficial title of rock-reggae princess in the hearts of many. Most of that raw edge is eluded onCount on My love; softened, maybe, for a more mainstream pop sound? Or could it be that Jamaica’s songbird of the moment has simply matured as a musician?

Count on My Love is a technically brilliant album. Tessanne, of course, sounds phenomenal, and the music presented on the compilation is modern and complex but simple enough to be catchy, while offering a diverse track list with distinct coherence. 

Tessanne still wears her reggae headdress on songs like “One Step Closer”, which carries a heavy reggae-dubstep beat that Tessanne enhances with an equally electrifying performance. Her Jamaican roots also shines through in the lyrics here as she sings “one step closer, I’m winning cause I work so hard, and the music it a play and the people dem a say we a mash up di dance” in that gorgeous Jamaican patois that so many fell in love with on The Voice.

Her Jamaican heritage is as much a part of Tessanne’s appeal as her vocal prowess. Songs like “I Heart U” and the title track also place her in her reggae element and Tessanne rides the modern island-fusion rhythms effortlessly. 

She manages to display a lush range on the album - a feat that many musicians fail to accomplish throughout their entire career. The singer even gives a brief deejay performance on the title track, offering listeners a glimpse of the hardcore Tessanne Chin that is now so rarely seen. 

“Everything Reminds Me Of You” is one of the album’s more hard-edged tracks and Tessanne performs with just as much soul as she dishes out in ballads like “Loudest Silence”. Her voice seems to carry an innate passion-filled lilt that ripples through the low notes and summons goose bumps when she goes high.

The producers were able to underline every euphonic nuance of her voice as Tessanne delivers high caliber performance after performance, exploring the true depths of her voice - something she didn’t really get to do on The Voice. 

Reggae-fusion, pop, r&b, soul and pop-rock describes the soundscape on Count on My Love and though she seems more in her element on some of the tracks, her overall performance is impeccable. 

Nobody should be surprised by this though as Tessanne has already proved that she is an adept vocalist. What does come as a bit of a surprise however is just how adaptable her powerful pipes really are. 

Another surprise (or maybe not) is that Count on My Love received the lowest first week sales of any The Voice winner. The support from Jamaica and its Diaspora played a huge role in securing Tessanne’s The Voice win and one can’t help but wonder if a lack of support is now hurting the musician in the aftermath.

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