A Life In Minutes
Ed Rome
Rockers Revolt
December 21, 2008

Track list
  1. Way In
  2. Mind
  3. Private Person
  4. Thatcher's Children
  5. Nationality Speaks Sadly
  6. What's Important?
  7. Non Relationship Rant
  8. March
  9. Some Truth
  10. Human Quality
  11. Take Me (Reggae Version)
  12. Way Out
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 3/4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 3
"A Life In Minutes" is Ed Rome's debut set on the prolific Rockers Revolt imprint, it's actually his debut Reggae album as this songwriter/multi-instrumentalist has already unleashed nine albums in a wide range of genres from Roots and Blues to Ska.

From the very first track, the wonderful instrumental "The Way In", it's obvious Ed Rome has been strongly inspired by the sounds that ruled the Jamaican dance halls from 1968 up to 1974. During this Early Reggae era there were fast, jerky instrumentals of session bands such as The Upsetters, The Dynamites and The Crystalites. Besides that there was more diversity in the music and engineers were experimenting with dub techniques.

Ed Rome's "A Life In Minutes" set consists of five instrumental pieces and six vocal cuts, most of them -- in particular the instrumentals -- coming with such a very strong 'old skool' vibe that it sometimes seems like they have been found on a dusty shelf in someone's cellar. Instrumentals like "The Way In" and "The Way Out" with their brooding bass line and haunting sax (both are actually one and the same but with a different mix), along with the funky groovin' "March" and the organ-dominated "A Human Quality" belong to our personal favourites. When it comes to vocal tracks it's not that easy to point out a standout or even favourite tune as they turn out to be less appealing to us. The ones that leave the most decent impression are "Some Truth" and "Thatcher's Children", the latter reminding us of The Beat's "Stand Down Margret" from about three decades ago.

All in all this is a very nice collection of tunes, in particular worth checking for those who dig the music of bands like The Specials, The Beat, The Aggrolites, and The Slackers.