TOPPA TOP 10: THE BEST CARIBBEAN ALBUMS OF 2017

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1. Chronixx, ChronologyChronixx - Chronology

In the hours immediately following its release, the impact of Chronixx’s debut album Chronology was already evident, as social media flooded with posts and discussion about the album. Its recent nomination for the Best Reggae Album Grammy speaks to the wide, lasting nature of that impact.

Different aspects of this album resonated with different audiences, from those who value the artist’s thought-out observations on Jamaican society, to the most casual listeners just looking for feelgood music to nod their heads with. “Spanish Town Rockin” and “Big Bad Sound” (featuring the artist’s father Chronicle) provided a fitting opening to the album, as Chronixx paid tribute to his birthplace and earliest musical influence. His call to “forget your troubles and rock with me” on the Bost and Bim-produced “Skankin Sweet” delivered momentary escape for anyone struggling with the hurdles of everyday life, and this same message of positivity is echoed in “I Can.” Previously released favourites “Smile Jamaica,”“Majesty” and “Likes” are included. (The latter, which finds the artist preaching substance over hype, blew up into a dancehall favourite this year). “Selassie Children” and “Black Is Beautiful” are also standout tracks which encourage pride of identity and beliefs.

Chronology builds and expands on the foundations Chronixx laid with his previous releases: His attention to detail, well thought-out approach and use of top-level musicians and engineers. The album is a reflection of Chronixx’s maturation and development as an artist, and as a man. It is his most well-rounded and polished work to date, and has captured the imagination of people inside and outside of the reggae world in a way no other album from the genre has in quite some time. And it was a pleasure to listen to. — Gibbo

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