We get a whole lot of collaborative releases from a line up of stars year in and year out but if we’re being totally and unapologetically honest, a large majority fail to scrape even a fraction of the lofty expectation set by us fans of the artists individually and as a whole. Insomnia is like when the Power Rangers combine to become Megazord, you knew great things were about to happen, even better than what you expected when listening to it.
The thing about this line up of Skepta, Adz and Chip, is that you have three artists who’ve been honing their craft for so long individually that it becomes second nature for them to create. It’s a balanced offering where you get a dose of the wave, the introspection and the bars, delivered on a diverse collection of beats where they’ve not just recorded random stuff but actually done what they’re all individually known for -creating catchy, witty and clever hit songs with memorable verses and choruses. None of the songs sounded out of place, nor did I skip any tracks.
“We got an album by three megastar trendsetters who catered for us on all conceivable levels. It’s like if the Power Rangers, Planeteers, and Transformers came together to form an Optimus Maximus, Megazord, and Captain Planet of Wave.”
There’s some opinions online from others who’ve compared this to other works but as someone who’s familiar with the artists from a singles perspective, I think its a solid body of work and if the critics or audience don’t get, it will grow on them, I think its an album that will age well because of the three narratives of the artists. I don’t think I’ve heard all three so vulnerable in their music and for me that’s what makes the album so endearing.
I don’t think I can name a favourite song as of yet but Traumatised and Sin City get pretty deep into origin stories, giving an insight into their individual journeys. In summary no performance from an individual artist outshines the other, everyone puts in 1000% which makes the album balanced, not only in regards to styles of delivery but content too -you can see all three characters in your own social circle or group of friends you grew up with [for me anyway].
The first joint album where I received no empty promises and more importantly no opportunities for me to form any expectations with leaked footage and snippets of tracks. They definitely exceed any expectation I could’ve imagined had it been different.