REVIEW: Christopher Martin – Big Deal

February in Jamaica is billed as ‘Reggae Month’ and is the perfect platform for the worldwide release of a highly anticipated debut album ‘Big Deal’ from Christopher Martin.

By DJ 745

Almost 12 years after winning Digicel’s Rising Stars contest (the island’s top televised show equivalent of American Idol) in 2005 his first full-length album was recently premiered to the world with a star studded album launch and listening party at the uptown Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston with fellow artists  Beenie Man, Agent Sasco,  and Jordan McClure of Chimney Records in attendance.

Born on Valentine’s Day in 1987 in the rural setting of Back Pasture, St. Catherine, Jamaica to Cleveland and Maxine Martin he was given the full support of his family whilst attending St. Jago High School before entering the Digicel Rising Stars contest.  The rest they say is history and he has since become one of Jamaica’s most in-demand singers as well as being the current face the current face of KFC’s ‘Big Deal’ campaign across The Caribbean.

Having spent a number of years honing his skills at Big Yard Studios– home to diamond selling artiste Shaggy and Producer Robert Livingston his debut album is released on VP Records, a label he signed to in 2013.

‘Big Deal’ is a 16 track album which draws on the production skills of Robert Livingston, Troyton Music, ZJ Chrome, Jordan “Chimney” McClure, Tarik “Rvssian” Johnston, King Yard Music, Anju Blaxx as well as veterans including Clive Hunt and Sly & Robbie.  It is no surprise that the album covers genres ranging from rocksteady/reggae through to dancehall and even r & b given the diverse range of production teams.

The album debuted at number three on the Billboard reggae album chart and is the perfect recipe of sweetness, swagger and bedroom stories and showcases Chris’s versatility and vocal excellence both as a singer and songwriter.  Something which is clearly visible whenever he touches onto a stage to adoring fans of reggae, dancehall and r & b music whether in his native homeland of Jamaica or across the globe in places as far reaching as  Japan and Zimbabwe.

The album fires off with a trio of BIG hit singles from Christopher Martin including the title track ‘I’m A Big Deal’ on Troyton’s ‘Intoxxicated’ rhythm from 2015, ‘Steppin’ featuring Busy Signal over a stop- start dancehall beat reminiscent of the infamous ‘Martial Arts’ rhythm.  ‘Cheaters Prayer’ from CR203 Records on the massive ‘Cardiac Strings’ rhythm dates back to 2012 but still sounds current here in 2017.

Oh Lord, don’t let me cheat on my girlfriend,
Cause as far as I can see,
She loves only me.
Oh Lord, don’t let me cheat on my girlfriend,
But Lord if you can’t stop me from cheating,
Just don’t let me get caught

One of the lead singles from the album ‘Magic’ (parental advisory recommended)  has a video forthcoming and will more likely to appear to the younger fans with bedroom talk of an explicit nature.

‘Blind Girl’, ‘Distance’ and ‘Better Than The Stars’ are three of the new offerings on the album showcases Christopher Martin’s romantic callings over reggae/one drop rhythms including a first pairing of Christopher Martin working with the formidable duo of  Sly and Robbie. A throwback to the ‘Golden Era of Rocksteady’ is clearly evident on ‘Hide Away’ produced by another legend Clive Hunt who has been working on more and more projects with VP Records in recent years and is a positive addition to the overall production of ‘Big Deal’.

Having the support of a record label behind an artist can surely reap its rewards when it comes to expanding musical boundaries and British grime artist Chip (formerly Chipmunk) joins Christopher Martin on a remix of ‘Under The Influence’ where parental advisory is recommended and New York-based Destiny Moriah collaborates on the soulful ‘Long Distance Lover’.

Reality lyrics feature on ‘One Life’  ‘Life ah the greatest asset and Jah-Jah give we that free’ an uplifting combination with  the highly talented Tanto Blacks ‘Mi love mi life…from mi wake up mi RICH!’ and a tribute to his parents on Mom & Dad’.  Jamaican music has a wealth of songs about ‘Mama’ –too many too mention but with this song coming in at just short of 7 minutes on the album Christopher Martin takes his time with his delivery of meaningful lyrics from his heart over a piano infused rhythm-sheer class!

The album has so much to offer to listeners young and old who may be familiar with Christopher Martin’s previous works which also include former singles ‘My Love’ on the Crown Love rhythm and Pirates Of The Caribbean’ as well as album exclusives including ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ and ‘Lady Of The Night’

The team at WorldAReggae definitely feel that the 12 year wait for the debut album has been well worth the wait and we hope that the next album comes before 2029!