Happy to see Residente (Calle 13) and Chronixx on the list of Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Albums of 2017. Here is what the critics had to say about each one:
Whatever Calle 13 fans expected of their conscious rap hero Residente, it probably wasn’t this self-titled debut. Residente is a statement of global solidarity, co-starring a madcap assortment of collaborators from 10 different parts of the world, to which the Puerto Rican icon traced back his DNA from a saliva test. Each song is its own new genre, assembled from regional sounds: The Latin Grammy-winning “Somos Anormales” draws hip-hop from Central Asian Tuvan throat singing; featuring French it-girl SoKo, “Desencuentro” is a transatlantic chanson. “I wasn’t trying to make a world-music album, but you know,” Residente told Rolling Stone. “The radio right now, I’m in shock, everyone sounds the same. It’s like junk food. You need to eat better, otherwise [you’re] going to die a slow, cultural death.” S.E.
With this mighty, roots-minded debut LP, the 25-year-old from Spanish Town, Jamaica, has spearheaded a reggae revival that’s more than merely retro. Grounded in the post-Marley golden era – think Barrington Levy, Aswad, Gregory Isaacs and Yellowman, who Chronixx shouts out on “Likes” – the man brings Rasta-informed wisdom and conscious vibes into a new century, with vintage dub grooves (“Big Bad Sound”) and modern pop-R&B sonics (“I Can”) rocking the dancehall side-by-side. The most promising reggae ambassador in a generation, Chronixx is here just when the need for healing music has never been greater. W.H.
For full listing and descriptions, see http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2017-w511763