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Ed Roman Returns With the Clever “I Have a Dream

The clever and satirical singer-songwriter Ed Roman Is back with another clever track, I Have A Dream. Combining colorful imagery and deep metaphors into his writing style, Ed Roman rarely underachieves with his competent prose. “I Have A Dream” is a stripped-down, raw, and emotional piece lacking diverse instrumentation, or complex musical breaks. This is just Ed Roman armed with his trusty acoustic guitar in front of his mic signing about the little things we take for granted and painting a vibrant utopian landscape with the solutions to life’s little frustrations. As we gain an understanding of what a perfect life would look like from the eyes of our troubadour artist, each verse and stanza is resolved with the simple phrase I Have A Dream. These little dreams, however, are deep and thoughtful dreams which define true happiness, not vast wishes and unachievable goals, as stated these are the simple things that bring joy, “With all my friends around, talking about gardens with kids while eating dinner.” Of course, this wouldn’t be a signature Ed Roman piece without a little tongue-in-cheek humor, “She’s an angel’s wings, always thinks of things, like shutting off the water, ‘I Have A Dream.” It is the little frustrations that we do not recognize as having a toll on our stress levels that Ed paints vividly to us that once removed would make a perfect life indeed.

I Have A Dream is accompanied by a very amateur-looking overly backlit video which helps maintain this simple approach to this track. The shot of Ed singing to the camera with the light behind blurring out the surroundings is a little painful to watch, as the focus blurs in and out, yet this is such an ideal idea for a video as the contrast to a song lacking frills and over-production should be visually represented as well. On the other hand, the music production is very well executed, as the vocals and guitar are well separated leaving plenty of headroom for the guitar’s overtones to ring out crisp and clear while Ed Roman is free to resolve each phrase with whatever intonation fits his general mood. This intonation becomes a considerable attribute to this piece as Ed Roman couples his majestic, elegant singing voice with a spoken word articulation to drive his point home, giving audiences that little bit more than they bargained for an appeal to this song. Although, I Have A Dream may not be suited for commercial pop radio playlists, this is still a very enjoyable track, and worthy of many listens. A perfect track if you are feeling down, or generally frustrated with the little things piling up in your life.

–Lee Callaghan

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DRBRWL drops off brand new project, ‘Drbrwl’

Minnesota artist DRBRWL has caught our attention for a fresh new EP called Drbrwl. Of Liberian and Ghanaian descent, DRBRWL is currently working as a youth advocate with young people in Minnesota while consistently performing and working on his craft within the twin cities. His latest project Drbrwl contains a series of vivid instrumentals that feel versatile throughout, as well as poignant and expressive vocal performances from DRBRWL, Drbrwl is a solid new offering from this Midwest up-and-comer.

Drbrwl contains a number of potently psychedelic songs that showcase DRBRWL’s unique songwriting skills and sound. Opener “within” makes for a highlight with its expansive, engaging sonics and sharp vocal performance, and “innerstand” is an emotive cut that scores with its tightly-crafted production and infectious vocal melodies. “mpd” contains a space-age soundscape and warbling, sonically rich vocals.

A solid project from DRBRWL overall, Drbrwl has us excited for what may be coming next from him.

Listen to Drbrwl here:

 

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Jxylen battles with his anger on fierce album “Project Mayhem: Fight Club Edition”

Returning with four new tracks on the deluxe edition of “Project Mayhem”, a dark and enigmatic release from early 2022, there is a slightly different side to Jxylen being shown. While the original release retold stories and perspectives from Jxylen’s past up till now, the four latest tracks are an update on the latest feelings and realizations he’s gone through.

“God Bless America” for example is a caustically written critique of American values, and an ironic spin on what makes America “America.” It’s a track filled with blistering statements and an indignantly painful tone. Jxylen lets his weakness against an unchanging power shine through with his angry and spastic delivery. Lines like “God bless America, most living just to die” and “this weights been very heavy” add to the overall hopelessness and nihilism of the track.

“Still Tired” and “SKT 3” serve as the most violent and violent angry tracks on the tape. While “SKT 3” plays deep into a Mobb Deep esque New York violence, filled with wordplay about gunshots and various ways to get rich, “Still Tired” is a deeper, more complex and ambiguous violence. It’s easy to tell that Jxylen is burning in quiet fury from anger he cannot remove from his soul. There is no content, and from this realization comes further anger at the world. He “hides [his] feelings” when boils into even more violence.

“Alive!” is easily the most interesting track of the tape. It’s a soulful and bold song filled with odd and almost childlike delivery on the chorus. While the lyrics touch less surface level than the other tracks, it’s not meant to be much more than a braggadocious rap that portrays Jxylen’s ego as larger than ever within the pits of his anger. Jxylen flows fluidly as the beat switch’s and he comes to grips with “artists dickriding… eternal hate… and creating something timeless.” It’s a second verse filled with substance crammed into barely 40 seconds on the ending of the track that very well captures the sentiment of Jxylen’s very artistic being, and shows his best strengths in writing and delivery.

Listen to PROJECT MAYHEM: FIGHT CLUB EDITION here:

 

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