free2Suzan’ah Free – Sweet Tropical Dreams


I have to be totally honest and say that the artist name “Suzan’ah Free” is a totally new to me. I have never ever heard of her, so I guess that means that preconceptions and prejudices can be left at the door. Now, reading into the artists background also was quite surprising in that she appeared to create music in several styles and genres that would not play a part in my personal music library. Original Tunes & Covers, Island pop, Latin Jazz, Florida Trop Rock with a splash of blues. Indeed to be totally honest some of the musical genres listed amongst those I had never even heard of previously!! They definitely had me reaching for the Google dictionary to see what they were all about. Education has no age limit especially where musical appreciation is concerned

Such a diversity of styles either shows an artist who is seeking to find a comfortable niche- or someone who prefers to stay avant-garde, experimental and diversify. An enjoyable blend of island sounds from Reggae, Hawaiian and Calypso to a little Country and Surfer Rock, it’s a real tropical oasis flowing from the speakers. Suzan’ah lyrics hit all your senses evoking the sounds, tastes, smells and stunning views of Hawaii mixed with feelings of love.  The overriding theme throughout the albums tracks is a good time feeling of fun. As well as singing and performing in a variety of musical styles Suzanah’s talents also extend to playing a variety of instruments on the album. She is certainly no one trick pony! Only one track has previously been familiar to me “The Lion sleeps tonight “covered by many artists previously this new version has added fresh elements to the delivery of an old classic. The fun element particularly is ramped up on the tale “Who Was the Lolo Who Stole My Pakalolo” not sure what either word means but the song just leaves you smiling. This is another cover version on the album which I am not familiar with the original version. There is certainly no need for critical over-analysis when it comes to the tracks on this album.

Chances are that if you grew up in Europe you probably think of calypso music as conga-line fodder for sun stroked tourists on Club Med cruise ships. In truth, its history and function is more like early hip-hop: party music that doubled as a delivery system for current events, street wisdom, social humour, and reflections on daily life from the vantage point of an imagined average person.  In brief easy on the ear music is not always cheap throwaway and created without talent. They are sweet songs, told with a big heart and sly sense of humour. As an overall album “Sweet Tropical Dreams “is  charming but lightweight. Several of its tracks are almost instrumental, which offer glimpses into the genre’s connection with jazz but aren’t sticky or complex enough to come back to. Suzan’ah  Free music’s primary objective is entertainment and what this release  will certainly do is leave a wide smile on the face of the listener. No major surprises but some great good time rhythms and tunes… and in essence what’s wrong with that?


by Mark Dean