In 2000, with his freshman release, Special Ed and The Musically Challenged, Ed Roman defined his paradigm with inventive, infectious tunes that shook one’s marrow and stirred the spirit. In May 2011, Ed released his solo venture, Oracles and Ice Cream, and has never looked back.
Now, in 2014, with Letters from High Latitudes, (homage to his Ontario, Canada home) Ed Roman has done it again. An accomplished musician, Ed performs 90 percent of the instruments on his album, recording drums, bass, guitars, organ, vocals and even sitar. The sound is rounded out with help from some of the top Canadian session musicians like Dave Patel on drums (Sass Jordan) and Mike Freedman on electric guitars (Tia Brazda.)
Very rarely do I judge an artist after hearing just one song. I usually have a 3 song rule; if I hear 3 songs and like all of them, then I’ll commit myself . Late one night I listened to the opening track off Letters from High Latitudes, entitled “I Told You So” and I loved the song. A couple of days later I listened to the entire album, but was concerned that I’d dislike everything else. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It is absolutely amazing
Ed Roman’s voice, lyrics and musicality are just superb. It’s few and far between that I’ll listen to an album non-stop twice in a row, and this is one of them. If Ed doesn’t become a household name soon, then a lot of people will be missing out on a talent that comes along so infrequently.
Whether this is your first Ed Roman album or not, doesn’t matter. Letters from High Latitudes is an eclectic collection of songs – rich with a classic mix of genre influences including rock, country, blues and a host of colors and shades taken from global rhythms that cross many borders.
Ed’s songs loosen you up. Then they excite you. Like almost all good music that leaves you changed after your listening experience. Letters from High Latitudes invigorates you to the degree that you know it’s more than just entertainment. If you’re not feeling that, after the African-influenced guitar rhythms on “World Keeps On Turning”, the reggae-driven “Jamaica”, the swampy crunch of “In Your Eyes”, the jazzy buzz on “Tinker” or the uplifting melody of “I Found God”, than maybe you just need to turn up the volume a little more or put on some better headphones!
Like many rock music fans, I often find myself returning continuously to my old 70’s albums when the highly formulaic music of today fails to even spark my interest. Ed Roman’s latest release certainly is a refreshing dose of musical bars. You lose yourself in the lyrics, and music, which sweeps you through every feeling, then back again.
Letters from High Latitudes showcases Ed Roman’s ability to write and perform a wide variety of music. In short, this album will broaden your musical horizons. Moreover though, Ed’s music possesses two magical qualities that are rarely ever found together, in one single body of work -integrity and accessibility!
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