Lithium: The Definition Of Insanity
An album by Sleep and Nick Pedigo
Beats by The Gonz
Review presented by Warren Peace
Listen to The Definition Of Insanity by Lithium.
Cincinnati native Sleep is a proud member of The Fraternity and has began building quite a following of fans so far in his career as a hip hop artist. Previously reviewed here at The Write Reviews for his album Branded: The Damon Winton Story, which was given classic status. With Lithium: The Definition Of Insanity, will Sleep be able to deliver back to back classics? Throw Nick Pedigo, an impressive vocalist with a love for hip hop, and The Gonz, The Fraternity’s beat man with an ability to create any atmosphere an artist is looking for within his instrumentals, and you have a trio of artists who are capable of delivering a classic by The Write Reviews’ standards. The true question will be if the artists can come together as a unit while excelling at their given positions as emcee, vocalist, and beat wizard.
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I- Step 1 (Accepted)
The album gets introduced with some rain the background, a slow start to a relaxed paced beat and Nick Pedigo singing the chorus. I could see myself dancing with my woman to this track (Okay, I admit that I did dance with her to this in the kitchen while she was waiting to get some grub from the oven). Sleep drops the verses with a story telling approach. He begins by speaking of seeing a woman from afar and feeling a deep desire to have her, regardless of who he may have at home. He wants to talk to her, tries to get the courage up to talk to, and finally introduces himself. Sleep brings metaphors, an emotional delivery, and a flow to his lyrics that should easily aid in captivating the audience. In closing we find out the woman has a special feeling about the guy, and we end the track on that note. This is a great introduction to the EP, proving Sleep and Nick Pedigo are a duo that compliment each other while connecting with the audience. Step One (Accepted) is an easy choice for the Featured Tracks list.
2- Step 2 (Keep Me Close)
The instrumental for Step 2 kicks the track off with a slowed rhythm, creating a feeling that Sleep immediately feeds off as he begins delivering his first verse. Incorporating a few punchline-type lines lyrics into this track, Sleep also gives listeners more well-written metaphors while keeping the focus squarely on the woman he feels a deep passion for. Nick Pedigo shows the audience his ability to stay consistent in his choruses as he gives listeners another group of lines that will find a way to get stuck in their head while displaying a wonderful singing voice. By the end of the song, Sleep has painted a vivid picture of the connection between the woman he has pursued and himself. It is quite clear both people are on the same level with their feelings and desire for each other. This seems to change when the woman speaks at the end of the song, telling the audience things are not feeling the same as they used to, but it’s nice to have someone. Step 2 (Keep Me Close) follows Step 1 (Accepted) perfectly, pushing through the story at a comfortable pace for anyone listening. The Featured Tracks list for The Definition of Insanity gains another filled slot with Step 2 (Keep Me Close).
3- Step 3 (Best Friends)
The Gonz is the person responsible for creating the sounds we hear throughout the album, and note that his transitions throughout the instrumentals on The Definition Of Insanity are remarkably clean, blending the beats in such a way that the audience is likely to feel everything come together as a whole musically and forget the album divides into songs. Nick Pedigo opens Step 3 (Best Friends) with another stellar chorus that includes well-scripted lines and another great vocal performance. Sleep opens up the track with a different tone in his voice, and as he flows through the verses he explains how things aren’t the same as they were. The relationship is heading downhill and the connection is becoming lost. Sleep incorporates some great metaphors associated with no wanting to admit to himself the situation is going south or that he has had anything to do with the way things are playing out. I feel Step 3 (Best Friends) is the deepest song on the album, and everyone will be able to relate to it because we have all been through this early stage of an ending relationship. Needless to say, Step 3 (Best Friends) adds to the total of Featured Tracks for The Definition Of Insanity.
4- Step 4 (No Impressing Me)
This instrumental is even slower than any of the previous tracks, adding sounds that give a feeling of distance and keeps a rhythm that could easily be associated with sadness or separation. While Step 4 may say there’s no impressing me, I have to be honest and admit The Gonz continues to impress me with every project and track I’ve heard him be a part of. Sleep spills out metaphors while intertwining lines that hit home, talking to the woman who he feels so strongly for yet seems to have lost touch with. Nick Pedigo expands his vocal range in the hook on this one while maintaining his attention capturing delivery to his lyrics. Sleep’s last verse of the track paints a picture of distance being created between himself and his girl as soon as they began being comfortable with one another, no longer impressing each other or keeping one another’s interest. The lady in the situation speaks once again at the end of the song, saying they tried and that is the best they can do, almost as if she brushes it off her shoulder and easily accepts it. Step 4 (No Impressing Me) keeps the Featured Tracks streak for The Definition Of Insanity alive.
The outro is not a song, but more an overall summary from Sleep’s perspective, with an addition few lines from Nick Pedigo that seems to capture the overall feeling of the album very well.
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Step 1 (Accepted), Step 2 (Keep Me Close), Step 3 (Best Friends), and Step 4 (No Impressing Me).
The Write Up
I have heard many tracks from Sleep, but never anything quite like this. I have also heard music from Nick Pedigo, but never quite like this. Both artists play their parts on the album, and they do a damn good job. Nick Pedigo seems to want to get carried away during parts of his choruses, but always stops himself before doing so and ends up capturing his emotions on the track while becoming part of the music. Sleep steps out of his comfort zone not just once, but in every track on this album, as he is not known for lacing lyrics about relationships or making music that would purposefully appeal to a female audience as equally as it would a male audience, simply because Sleep’s verses are more rough edged with lines about the hardships and struggles in life, or the desire to rip undeserving emcees out of hip hop forever. The Definition Of Insanity shows Sleep’s storytelling ability can derive from any circumstance, and his talent will shine through regardless of the topic. The Gonz puts together another great ensemble of beats, putting the audience in a trance just as he was able to do on the album he teamed with Loose Logic on “Open Door Policy”. There are some minor complaints, but I do not think I’m the only one who will mention them. First, at the conclusion of the album I wanted to message Sleep and Nick to ask them why everything was so compacted. This album is deep, and so well put together that everyone who becomes an audience is likely to have the desire to hear more. Second, and this one isn’t said quite as much to the artists, but it really seemed to me like there should have been something else or something a little more between Step 3 and Step 4. Not for the sake of finding an excuse to expand the album, but because it feels like the time frame of the story between those two songs covers a span of two or three years, while from Step 1 to Step 2 and Step 2 to Step 3 seemed to only cover six months to a year, at the most, between those three tracks. There is no doubt people who read this will say I’m nit-picking, but I call it like I hear it and it wouldn’t surprise me if the artists Sleep and Nick are would be inclined to agree with me. After saying all that, I’m here to say this: The Definition Of Insanity is one slight slip away from being a classic album in my eyes and is an album that will definitely connect with every person who passed the high school relationship BS and actually had an adult relationship come to an end. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, and Step 4 will hit nerves, clench hearts, cause feelings to resurface, and enthrall nearly each person who listens to it. To Sleep, Nick Pedigo, and The Gonz, I would like to say you all did fantastic jobs handling your roles in the album and as a collective unit. Bravo!
(4.5 out of 5 stars)
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