Sleep On It| Pride and Disaster| An Album Review
Sleep On It has been a band I have wanted to see more of for a while. They are just one of those groups that I have never heard a negative rumor, story, or post about. Videos from their concerts always seemed legendary, and stories about the band members themselves were always super positive. I just never seem to be at home when they came through town. This band has been something of an urban legend to me. In my mind I have them ranked up there with Chuck Norris in the sense that I know that they are amazing, but I’ve just never actually seen them. All of this created so much hype around their upcoming release that I was almost skeptical. I mean really, how could a band be this good? All of this doubt was circling in my head as I plugged the new project into my speakers.
Then I heard Pride and Disaster, and I understood what all of the hype was about. Not only did I understand; I could not help but agree.
First of all, we need to talk about the opening track, “Racing Towards A Red Light.” I can think of no better introduction than this track for a listener who is experiencing this band for the first time. The infectious melody line and abrasive opening musical accompaniment had me hooked from the get go. The emotional yearning in the lyrics proclaiming that, “Everyday I’ll be pushing back and trying to clear a path,” and “We’re not better yet, we’re not better” were especially poignant with the album release date being at the very end of world suicide prevention week. Those rather honest and blunt lyrics were contrasted with the song’s upbeat and happy tempo. The song’s entire buildup and release created a space where, despite the difficult subject matter, the listener was just free to feel whatever they had to. I could envision listeners across the country and around the world relating and connecting to the track just as I had. Not only was it a strong opener, it also won me over before the rest of the project had even loaded onto my computer. I cannot think of a way that they could have made this opening better.
“Hold Your Breath,” the project’s second track, is an incredible continuation of the emotions that the previous song had already cultivated. The chorus line, “take your time to find what’s in side, and make me feel like I can be alright” could easily be an anthem all on it’s own. The line is complemented by an entire arrangement created to showcase the songwriting talent and musical prowess of the group.
“Fix the Dark” was another hallmark moment of the release for me as well. There are numerous lines and builds that made me feel that this album could not just be listened to. This track made the project an experience. I wanted to move, I wanted to sing along, I wanted to have as much fun listening to this as it seems like the band had making it. It truly takes a special kind of artist, group, and team to create that type of desire.
The award for Egypt’s favorite song on this record has to go to “Under The Moment.” As a musician myself, this song was just fun. As a lyricist the paradoxes created in the first verse held my attention. As a human being the chorus made me feel like I was seen. It was just further proof that this group lives up to all of the hype that was around them, and that this record would be a defining moment for the band.
Overall, my favorite theme in the record is the idea of hope. Each and every song is relatable to a wide audience. The project takes the listener on a journey of healing and leads them to the promise of a better tomorrow. This is not the kind of authenticity that can easily be faked or counterfeited. Regardless of intentionality, this record is raw, it is powerful, and it is exactly what today’s music listener’s need. I know that I have mentioned this before, but I cannot think of a better time for this project’s release. The end of world suicide awareness week can mark what many see as the end of this type of struggle being seen. My generation at times seems to be dying to feel, but struggling to hope. Sleep On It proves not only that they understand this, but by sharing this struggle and the hope that they’ve found in their new release Pride and Disaster, that they care about it. That to me is far better than any record could ever be.
The only thing that could possibly make this music better is to see it performed live. Thankfully, Sleep On It is currently on the road, and their show will be a concert that I cannot miss.
So, while I am off trying to find tickets for their upcoming tour dates, you need to be listening to this record cranked as loud as you can stand it.
Truly a masterpiece.