Prototype: Third Time’s The Charm

The new event album of one of the greatest figures of the revival of Jamaican reggae is finally available. prototype released today his album titled Third Time’s The Charm (In.Digg.Nation Collective / RCA Records, available here), which he conceptualized as the 3rd episode of his trilogy of time-themed albums (after In Search Of Lost Time and A Matter Of Time).

Time, Protoje precisely had to produce this album during the pandemic (he explains it on the track Hills), in his own studio The Habitat located in the hills of Kingston, surrounded by his family (referred to in the excellent Here Comes The Morning). On the production side, the artist surrounded himself with the talents of beatmakers like Iotosh, Ziah Push or even Zion I Kings, for a particularly successful result, certainly one of Protoje’s best albums to date, ever more skilfully mixing reggae, hip-hop, trap and soul.

With neat and clever writing, Protoje addresses personal themes as usual, his positive or negative feelings about human relations, the progress of his career and his spirituality, without forgetting to highlight the artists he likes and with whom he has been advancing for several years now.

We thus find Jesse Royal on Family where the brass of musician Okiel McIntyre will seduce anyone who listens to the title. The protected grown up Lila Ike accompanied prototype on the resumption of Late At Night by Pam Hall (a Gussie Clark track from the early 1980s), one of our favorite tracks from this 10-track opus, all as good as each other. Late At Night combines the vintage character of the original work, brings it a soulful side of the 1970s, itself transcended by the modernity of Cadenza’s production. Jorja Smith follows Protoje on the syrupy and warm Then Can Rowan ode to the beauty of black women. Samory I and his lively flayed universe comes to snatch us up on the powerful Heavy Load which closes the album.

These particularly strong titles rub shoulders with other equally deep pieces. The Charmwhich opens the opus, uses a sample by Dennis Brown and mixes it with a 1990s hip hop vibe, all in the service of a sophisticated production dressed in subtle lyrics. Incident Stepping is an almost hypnotic title, of great spirituality. Protoje set up a special for all profiteers and bad minds on the excellent Love For Me.

On our side we attribute a special mention to the director Samo who directed the clips of the album unveiled at this stage, and whose artistic and graphic sensitivity brings a lot to a perfectly accomplished work.

Third Time’s The Charm is to be discovered urgently (here Protoje always presents itself at the top of its game and icing on the cake, it will tread the French stages in 2023!

Track list:
1. The Charm
2. Hills
3. Family Ft. Jesse Royal
4. Incident Stepping
5. Dreamy Eyes
6. Ten Cane Row Ft. Jorja Smith
7. Late At Night Ft. Lila Ike
8. Love For Me
9. Here Comes The Morning
10. Heavy Load Ft. Samory I

Prototype: Third Time’s The Charm