The smooth roots crooner Luciano returns with a set of 16 new songs that continue his sunny commitment to conscious rhythms and uplifting reggae. Produced by saxophonist Dean Fraser, A New Day doesn't really mark much of a shift for this solid singer, whose soulful way with a tune stands in marked contrast to most of his contemporary R&B-obsessed peers. Tight backing harmonies from Sherida Sharpe, Althea Lane Hamilton, and Conradine Campbell lend a vintage flavor to the productions, but the digital drums and dancehall effects keep A New Day feeling up to date. Outstanding tracks include a cover of Marvin Gaye's "God Is My Friend" and the stripped-down rap "Hardcore" (destined for a killer club remix), while the inspirational title track is easily one of Luciano's most compelling vocal performances. Longtime fans will continue to draw strength from Luciano's faith and moving pronouncements -- and newcomers will find his latest a fine introduction to this reggae star.