When rising reggae star Etana - with her rootsy lyricism soaked in Rastafarian ideology - performs here Wednesday, it'll provide a fresh break from the overtly sexual female dancehall reggae artists that dominate the charts.

The Jamaican-born Etana has embodied the more wholesome approach on her satisfying debut album, "The Strong One."

"The album contains my personal views on life, maybe because I see life a little different than other female artists," said Etana recently. "I'm basically saying that women can express themselves and their lives, and remind them that they don't have to be naked to express themselves."

At first glance, Etana seems to fit the mold of female singers Marcia Griffiths, Judy Mowatt and Cherine, with her soothing voice and mellow delivery. But Etana separates herself with lyrics that damn the system and ills of society in the manner of reggae fire-bringers Sizzla and Capleton.

"I might seem very quiet and calm in person, but that's the person offstage," Etana said. "Once onstage, it's very blazing. There's things I must address onstage, so don't expect me to just come out on the stage, sing, and walk off.

"It will be a show of complete expression," Etana continued. "Expressing my culture, my sound and my music." *

Club Festival, 5222 Walnut St., 10 p.m. tomorrow, $25, 215-327-6322.