Review Summary: Dedication showcases a lot of promise from the young artist, but unnecessary over-production hinders from the actual quality that this work could have been.
In the new wave reggae upbringing there has been one name that appears in just about everything. That name is that of 24 year old Rome Ramirez. Rome is the lead singer of the Sublime revival in Sublime With “Rome” which has released one album to date in Yours Truly
which essentially split the Sublime fan base in half. Some praised the new direction, while others thought that the work was too over produced. Rome also featured in 2010 summer hit with The Dirty Heads "Lay Me Down" which is both The Dirty Heads' and Rome's best commercial performance to date. With that background young Rome Ramirez was signed to a solo deal via Fueled By Ramen Records. His first release is the Dedication EP
. This release showcases a lot of promise from the young artist, but unnecessary over-production hinders from the actual quality that this work could have been.
One of the lone problems with this release is that a great batch of songs have unnecessary probable last minute quirks thrown into them. Not to say that roots are completely abandoned within this release. Some reggae influence can still be found in this otherwise pop release. In the last track of the EP "Oz Of Love" Rome preaches that he has a love for his marijuana. He uses the drug to cope with his problems, as everyone does. The track uses an acoustic guitar and bongo drums primarily to create the rhythm. The track does sound very reggae influenced, and is a pretty solid track. However you then reach the end of the track and the unnecessary synthesizer line is thrown in. In 2nd track "Seasons" more of those quirks are thrown in near the end. The song is actually a very catchy tune that makes good use of a R&B mixed with a pop rock chorus. However near the end of the song there is someone beat-boxing in the background saying,
"I know you bad, I know you bad oh whoa oh oh"
Not only is this highly testing on your patience, but it tears down an actual superb pop song with it. However on titular, lead single, and standout track "Dedication", Rome and his production team do one thing right. They use an Afro-beat rhythm. Pair that with sincere lyrics, a twinkling keyboard, and a stellar vocal delivery from Rome and you have a superb song and a good bridge for fans of past works and projects of Rome.
On this release we have some tracks that are deterred by bad production, however we have a song that is just overall terrible even before production. This track is third track "Hung Up." The mess is a cliche filled, uninspired filler track that is not welcome on a four track EP. Also it throws in some bad atmospherics and a bad auto tuner in the bridge to the last chorus that digs it into the ground as one of the worst tracks I've heard in recent memory.
The sad thing is, this is an excellent release if you have tinny $5 headphones from your local value store where you can only hear the highs and no background noise. However when listened to in depth, you notice too much production done to an otherwise very promising solo debut for the young Rome Ramirez. Maybe lessons will be learned, he just needs to dedicate to himself.
"There's no way that I can save your life, if you can't even open your eyes. And I tried to right, your wrongs but I, just end up with all of your lies."