The "Odd Ras" singer undoubtedly has a bright career ahead of him, that much is clear. It's hard not to compare the reggae idol to a young Bob Marley or Peter Tosh. Even though his sound is completely different with its modern appeal, he possesses a potent vivacity and infectious charisma that, when combined with his talent as both a vocalist and lyricist, steers towards greatness.
Since his meteoric rise from obscurity to reggae powerhouse, Chronixx has maintained his platform as a champion for the Rastafarian movement, all the while promoting its tenets and vocally rebelling against various aspects of pop culture and social oppression. All of this is reiterated in his latest release, Dread & Terrible, but with a more hardcore delivery than anything previously released by the musician.
The content is hardly original but the artiste's delivery is uniquely distinguished. His voice carries a rich tone throughout the album and his performances are sometimes filled with enough passion and exuberance to rival that of the best in his league.
Dread & Terrible starts off with the lyrically compelling "Alpha and Omega". The album features seven original tracks and dub covers of three of those tracks - "Alpha and Omega" being one. The original version of the track does have a distinct dub feel and it is easy to see why this was one of the tracks chosen to be stripped down and recreated under dub. The dub mixes are a treat and even though they round off the track tally, Dread & Terrible still seems terribly short. So just how involved was the musician in the making of the album?
"Chronixx is the man behind the Dread & Terrible project. The 21 year old Jamaican singer wrote all the songs, composed, recorded & mixed a few tracks himself. He also compiled the project and was really involved in the creation of the artwork and all the visuals for this project," his website reads, going on to add that the artiste has also moonlighted as a producer for other musicians. The record was even released under the musicians own record label - Chronixx Music.
Chronixx succeeds in bringing his innate creativity to the fore with Dread & Terrible, selecting music that highlights and showcases his vocal range, all the while accentuating the overall sound. The album forgoes the light optimism reggae music often portrays for a darker, more grim undertone. Building on the downbeat is a characteristic native to reggae and this works in Chronixx's favour as it adds to the air of stern resilience presented in the artiste's rebel music.
Even "Rastaman Wheel Out", which sports an up-tempo ska rhythm, still manages to inspire apprehension. The album’s title suggests though that the armed and grim hostility that it often impresses is exactly what Chronixx was aiming for.
"Like a Whistle" and "Spirulina" are probably the least antagonistic songs on the album and the former has a distinct crossover feel. "Like a Whistle" is interesting in that it presents a particularly unique rhythmic progression which seems to fuse reggae with some neo-pop/dancehall elements. By far it is the most easily digestible track on the album.
The heavy one-drop beat in "Here Comes Trouble" forms the backbone of a more intricate sound that makes the song’s militaristic message all the more impressive. The track has already been released as a single and the creative music video accompanying the track has racked up over a million views on YouTube.
Parents should note that the album comes with a parental advisory warning for explicit content on iTunes. Although the album doesn't actually bear any expletives, a few radical and sometimes anarchic ideologies are presented that parents should be mindful of. He may have mastered his sound but creatively the album seems too settled on existential angst.
Chronixx has already etched his name in reggae history and Dread & Terrible will only brighten his legacy. Dread & Terrible features some exceptional music and reggae enthusiasts, devoted Rastafarians and Chronixx fans, will no doubt be the first to gravitate towards the new release. Chronixx is poised for international superstardom that could rival the likes of Bob Marley and the other luminaries who came before him. His biggest hurdle however is himself, as although his musicality is in full bloom, his lyrical range seems limited. If his career is going to reach its full potential the artiste will need to step out of his comfort zone so that his creativity can do some evolving. This does not mean that the young prodigy should shed his rebel image but a little versatility goes a long way.