Chronixx’s ‘Chronology’ album review


A review from Gulf News.

Jamaican reggae star makes a stunning debut with a mix of old and new songs 

On his first, full-length album, Jamaican musician Chronixx modestly sings that “If one person remembers my name, that means I made a change.” Well, that was easy: It’s going to be hard to forget him after this astonishingly rich album. Chronixx’s debut sounds like a greatest hits compilation — and he’s not yet 25.

Chronixx’s 15-track Chronology is a mix of relatively old and new songs that show how far he can stretch, ranging from 2013’s breezy reggae Smile Jamaica to this year’s sexy, R’n’B-flavoured Majesty. It veers from the pop radio-ready Tell Me Now and I Can to the twangy, almost country Christina and the socially uplifting Selassie Children.

Isolating standouts is a ridiculous task but some include the political slow jam Black Is Beautiful — with the lines, “This is not a racist song/This is a song for the children who was never told about where their race is from” — and the sweetly spiritual, sing-a-long anthem Legend.

Chronixx, born Jamar McNaughton, gets funky when he teams up with his father — the dancehall artist Chronicle — on the terrific Big Bad Sound. On the sludgy dancehall tune Likes, he calls out Drake for his so-called tropical house exploits and also mocks those searching for internet fame (“Do it for the love/Me nuh do it for the likes.”)

Chronixx had a hand in writing every song and produced or co-produced the bulk of Chronology. In it he raps, sings, uses his falsetto, employs patois slang, backs off for the odd guitar solos and uses a full orchestra for three tracks.

Lyrically, he gets spiritual, serious and empowering, and also a little lusty and cheeky. “Forget your troubles and rock with me,” he asks. He respectfully nods to the past — mentioning reggae giants Bob Marley and Peter Tosh — and yet is also completely current, offering shout-outs to Black Beatles and Venus and Serena Williams.

“I am a lion but you never heard me roar,” he sings.

Now we have.

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