“Happiness” is Ed Roman’s latest single

“Happiness” is Ed Roman’s latest single and should enjoy the same success as his recent run of singles. Roman has an outstanding musical resume bursting with prestigious awards, critical recognition, and a growing history of chart success. His career trajectory has followed a desirable path generating greater momentum with each additional release. He hasn’t quite broken through into the global arena but a song such as this may be the catalyst for a moment when Roman’s work crosses over from indie darling into mainstream hit.

The ingredients are present. The single’s production has a reach out of your speakers and grab you quality and a totally modern sonic attack. Roman ties together several different musical approaches without ever losing listeners because he keeps the song’s thrust straight-forward and uncomplicated. “Happiness” has percolating percussion throughout the track providing a physically engaging rhythm though many may long for a more robust approach than Roman opts for.

“Happiness” has several synthesizer flourishes during the song. There are some listeners who will encounter these moments and find them gaudy. I admit they caught me off guard during my first listen, but I believe these electronic vamps are the song’s crowning musical touch. They are a bit out of balance with how the other instruments are treated but, nonetheless, furnish an full-on blast of color.

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The guitar playing illustrates that lack of balance. It is more than capable of gaining and retaining your attention, however, despite being positively demure in comparison. It is thanks to Roman’s clear guitar playing skills and his ear for composing memorable yet concise melodies. It underlines the essentially upbeat nature of the song. Upbeat, however, doesn’t mean shallow ot immature. The impressive completeness of “Happiness” is a mark of a mature artist near or at the peak of his powers.

Astute listeners will hear even faint hints of hip-hop in the song’s irrepressible beat. It is a thoroughly modern single, Roman is far from ready to embrace relic status. The words and music alike tumble out of him in an inspired near-flood though there is never a second when it threatens to careen out of control. Few modern singles are as alive to possibility as Ed Roman’s “Happiness” and it is difficult for me to imagine someone finding much fault with this track.

It is likewise a natural outgrowth of his past work. “Happiness” brandishes every bit of the facility, confidence, and focused artistic judgment present in past singles such as “Red Omen”, “Tomorrow Is Today”, and “Stronger”. Assuming they will enjoy the same, if not greater, success isn’t a stretch. I expect it will be greater. Ed Roman’s love for making music shines through and he has a fully realized vision for how he wants his songs and music to sound. Passing years will transform that vision but I never foresee any shrinking of its reach. This is one of the most vibrant singles I have heard this year and expect Roman’s profile to expand exponentially as a result of its success. Long may he run, and I’ll be listening for any future releases confident he will continue building on his art. 

Michael Rand

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