Posted in Album Review

Chronixx’ Chronology

About 5 years ago in an interview on Fame 95, Chronixx was asked when he would be releasing his first album. The reggae artiste responded that he wanted his first album to be like a photo album, where different points of his life could be commemorated. Finally, on July 7, 2017, Chronixx released Chronology, a reggae album with clear hip-hop influences, and it is safe to say he kept his promise.

From di fus drum roll inna “Spanish Town Rocking” I was mesmerised. Even though the song was released on the Roots & Chalice mixtape, it made it clear Chronixx was taking us on a walk down memory lane. He opens the album by painting a picture of what it was like growing up in Villa de la Vega, Spanish Town. The second track features Chronicle, Chronixx’ father and serves as a symbol of the artiste’s early exposure to music. The remaining tracks showcase other points in Chronixx’ musical journey. He sings of the beauty and shortcomings of Jamaica, believing in himself, Rastafari, black empowerment and making his mark in music.

I listened to every song on the album once and bawled livin’ yiy wata when I got to “I Know Love”;sixteen songs went by too quickly. Naturally, I restarted the entire album. This time I turned up the volume so the sweet basslines could rattle my mind, body, soul, mommy’s what-not and every unused glass, plate and crystal inside it.

The most impressive aspect of the album is that you can hear the time and effort put into every song from the writing stage straight through to production. You know how with some albums there is a song or two you don’t feel guilty about skipping? Well,with Chronology there is no want, desire, urge or need to do anything but let reggae music play.

I’d like to take this time to extend a virtual handshake to every member of Chronixx’ team. How unnu suh bad? Special love goes out to every bassy on the album. It’s been a minute since I’ve heard such dynamic basslines and unnu manage fi dweet fi every song. Another thing is, if you really sit and listen to the instrumentals you can hear a million things happening at once – keys, guitars, percussions- all without being overpowering; the music can still breathe. Unnu gimme goosebumps! Again I ask, how unnu suh bad?

 

I can’t even talk about my favourite track because I love them all. I must admit the first time I listened to the album I wasn’t a fan of “Christina”. Then one day I found myself walking around the house singing “Oh Christinaaa I still believe in meee!” and from that point on, I was hooked. Don’t take my word for it, check the album out for yourself. How? Well Chronixx made it clear that him a dweet fi di love by making every track on the album available on Youtube!

If you haven’t already done so, mah beg yuh please guh tek a listen, and lemme know what you think.

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more song and event reviews. Don’t forget to comment, like and most importantly share :).

Walk Good,

Alexia Blair

Universal Reggae

Posted in Album Review

Royalty (is) Free

We have seen in a few interviews since the beginning of 2016 that Protoje would be stepping up the pace in releasing songs, and on June 1st we were pleasantly surprised with “Can’t Feel No Way” followed shortly by “Glad You’re Home.” Then Protoje blessed us, on his birthday, June 14th, with the album “Royalty Free Side B”. This side of the album kicks off with Can’t Feel No Way at number 6, and Glad You’re Home at number 7. Although both songs were trending on Jamaican twitter before the album dropped, “Sandra Foster” took over the lime light as soon as “Royalty Free Side B” hit the scene.

See the track list below:

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Diggy was the main producer on the album, along with Tracker John MD, 8Track, The Drum Keys, & Winta James. Now let me tell you, I love off Royalty Free, I have it on repeat. I’m gonna tell you what I think about each song, so if you want to take a listen first, go ahead.

Can’t Feel No Way has a hip-hop beat with a sample of Dennis Brown’s “Don’t Feel No Way” swinging as the chorus. We get to see Diggy’s same lyrical genius in more of a ‘rap vibe’. He can’t feel no way about not winning a Grammy because his music is still being played worldwide. BONUS: listen keenly to hear the story; as well as Runkus’ ad libs. This song hypes me up so much, it makes me want to dab, and the lyrics get to me every time.  It packs a lot of punch for just 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Drop di Ancient Future, di man dem neva gi nuh grammy to the king, can’t feel no way though, music a play doh? Fry fish, bammy to me ting…

Protoje told us, on Twitter, that Glad You’re Home (GYH), Sandra Foster(SF), and Flight Plans (FP) are connected, one storyline; and in GYH she comes home.

Glad You’re Home also has a hip-hop feel to it, it features a sample of “Ring My bell” by Anita Ward. To me the lyrics are cheeky, and I love it, as the title suggests, he’s glad she’s home and they finally get to meet and reconnect, intimately.

Sandra Foster is Protoje’s favourite song off the album and is a crowd favourite as well. This riddim has a jazz or neo-soul feel to it. It’s also special because it contains excerpts from the Fae Ellington 1991 interview of Sandra Foster, former Miss Jamaica World. Diggy confessed that Sandra Foster was his first crush, and he saw some of the same qualities in his ‘starring lady’ as Sandra Foster; hence the use of her interview. In “SF she’s apprehensive about going back out.”

Flight Plans takes us to a riddim of a reggae & hip-hop flare, with the lovely Lila Ike doing the ad libs; “My baby don’t go, my baby don’t go, I beg you please don’t go…” as the chorus, pulled on my heart strings. This song is sad because even though the situation can’t be helped, and it can be seen in her eyes that leaving would hurt, she still does. In “FP she decides to go.”

Used To Be My Life is my favourite on the album, the riddim connected with my soul, it is the modern take on reggae. It gives us a little insight on the personal side of Diggy, in the first verse he describes the pain he went through when a close friend of his died. The lyrics accompany the instrumental perfectly, the story of his past experiences and what he’s gone through is inspiring; he gives thanks for those who were there for him in his time of struggling.

The album is available to download, for free, on Protoje’s website [here] and to stream on Soundcloud [here]. So far Royalty Free is an album that no song has to be skipped, they’re all amazing, with different feels to each, and any song is someone’s favourite.

Follow Universal Reggae on Instagram & Twitter to keep in the know! Until next time.

Walk Good,
Rashida Grant
Universal Reggae

Posted in Album Review

Join the Indie Movement

It gives me great pleasure to formally introduce you to Indie Allen. He was just 8 years old when he began singing. Watching his brother performing in church was the driving force that propelled Indie to first pick up a microphone.By the age of 16, he started penning his own songs and became a part of an acapella group. Indie soon outgrew his home parish of Montego Bay and decided to move to Kingston to further his music career.

In 2012 he joined Phuzzion, a band comprised of his equally talented friends. Together, they have trained, performed and honed their musical skills. Indie Allen cites Phuzzion band as affording him multiple resources and opportunities that made releasing his first project, The Indie Movement EP possible.

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Now let’s get down to business! Press play. The first thing you hear is: “Indie mi name. Clear sonics a di game” – a promise that the next 18 minutes of your life will be filled with crisp, clean music of a high quality. SPOILER ALERT!!! The young singer songwriter doesn’t disappoint.

First on the EP is “I’ve Been Waiting”. This song is what falling in love sounds like, you know, waiting for a sign to make the first move, or waiting for someone to set the ball in motion and most importantly the bliss that arises as you crash uncontrollably in love, hoping it never ends.

Next up is “Lion’s Pride”. ‘The jungle gets rough and I need a lioness in my arms.’ Indie croons about his desire to have a queen to help him navigate the jungle called life. The song is just over 5 minutes which is a bit long for my taste, but the soothing instrumental outro makes up for this shortcoming.

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The third track on the EP is “Cave of Hearts”. What I love the most about this song is how the steady drum beat provides a pulse that brings the song to life. The poetic lines tell the story of learning to love again after suffering from previous heartbreak. The song closes with Indie asking: ‘If my heart was on fire, would you let me burn?’ which I interpret as a plea that his love won’t be unrequited.

Indie completes the EP by paying tribute to Jamaica in a track bearing the same name. He professes his love for her beaches, warm sunshine and clear skies.  He promises to never leave her shores for too long. Each time I listen to “Jamaica”, I fall deeper in love with my beautiful island as like Indie, I love the way she holds me close.

Indie Allen hopes to one-day sellout a 90 thousand capacity stadium. Well, if his first EP is anything to go by, I think he’ll easily accomplish his goal! Don’t believe me? See for yourself. The Indie Movement EP is available for $500 JD. Contact Indie Allen on his facebook page to get your copy today.

That’s all for now folks! Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events, and also event reviews. Until next time.
Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae

Posted in Album Review

Roots & Chalice Mixtape

Meet Federation Sound, a group comprised of creative masterminds hailing from Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Jamaica. They create flawless dub-plates and remixes which make them a force to be reckoned with in the world of Reggae music. You already know Chronixx, a neo-reggae artiste one cannot help but love. He brought us hits like Behind Curtains, Odd Ras and Rastaman Wheel Out.

According to Max Glazer from Federation Sound, it was only a matter of time before his group and Chronixx created a project together, and the stars aligned last September. The end result, Roots & Chalice, was released in February 2016.

Roots & Chalice provides the characteristic positive message of reggae music. However, Chronixx and the Federation Sound placed special emphasis on promoting healthy lifestyles in songs like Smooth Operator where Chronixx highlights the medicinal benefits of foods. Additionally, advocacy for the proper usage of marijuana could be seen in the humorous song 3D among others. This song was clearly inspired by Ninjaman’s Border Clash and, the 3Ds are Don’t, Drop and Down. In 3D Chronixx warns patrons of the increased potency of marijuana when a chalice is used and stresses the harms of steaming on an empty stomach.

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Chronixx

The project contains some of the favourites from the Dread & Terrible Project (Alpha & Omega), some previously released singles (Iyah Walk) and some new songs (Puppy Nose). Chronixx and Federation Sound weren’t the only scientists in the music lab. Dre Island, Eesah, and Kabaka Pyramid all contributed towards the creation of this masterpiece. Chronixx also remixed Kelissa’s Best Love answering the songbird’s request for love with an arsenal of lyrics that could win any lady’s heart.

One of the best parts of this mixtape is that it pays homage to the riddims of the days of old. For instance, it features a remix of Spirulina on a modified version of the Joyride riddim where Chronixx “haffi draw for spirulina” to adequately service the needs of Jacquline (wink).

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Everyone knows Chronixx is a thoroughbred Spanish Townian, so naturally he had to show his respect to the old capital city on this project. After a brief sample of Barrington Levy’s Prison Oval Rock, Chronixx made the riddim his own with Spanish Town Rocking.

Roots & Chalice is 58-minutes of pure talent and gets our nod of approval. Be sure to blast it when studying, procrastinating, exercising, cleaning, all day and everyday! Don’t forget to share it with your friends. That’s all for now folks! Keep an eye on our website for upcoming events, and also event reviews. Until next time.

Walk Good,
Alexia Blair
Universal Reggae