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From the Soil to the Soul (Exclusive Bonus Version)

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Album Review

Because former skateboarder Tommy Guerrero is influenced by his native San Francisco (his records often reference the city), his new home at Quannum Records, who released his fourth full-length, From the Soil to the Soul, is quite fitting. There's a smooth West Coast vibe that runs through the entire album, from the Pacific sun-soaked opener, "Hello Again," to the light traffic and urban noise on "Mission Flats," to the nearly rocking "Let Me in Let Me Out," featuring the melodic rapping of labelmate Lyrics Born. But From the Soil to the Soul is also darker than anything Guerrero has made before, with heavy basslines that drive the songs along, funky and warm in "War No More" and "Badder Than Bullets" and somber and intense in "Tomorrow's Goodbye" and "Molotov Telegram," the latter sounding like it should be used in a Grand Theft Auto-type video game. Guerrero has become quite adept at layering all the various elements in his music without overwhelming it, allowing space — both within the chords and riffs themselves and between them — to contribute to the overall feel of the record as much as the actual instrumentation does. Funk-based guitar lines play over each other while the keyboard chimes in appropriately, "No Guns More Glory" brings in a Hammond B-3, and "Just Ain't Me," which has Guerrero himself singing, "Whatever you want from me, I can never give," over and over, uses a Quantic-style string loop and a lot of cymbal. It's laid-back yet focused, a satisfying combination that produces a nice sense of continuity within the album, so that even though, by the end, the songs do seem to blend into one another (offset by the occasional vocal track, including a great Brazilian lounge one by Curumin), there's nothing boring about it at all. Instead it's a well-composed entity, more complicated — or at least less breezy and sunny — than Guerrero's other solo work while still retaining his individuality and sound, which makes From the Soil to the Soul a very listenable release, the kind of thing you'd want to have in the background as you hang out with your friends and talk about the best show you ever saw at Bottom of the Hill.

Customer Reviews

From your ears to your soul, this album vibes!

"Listening to the album, one feels that Guerrero's only goal was following his heart and putting together a collection of tracks that reflect the sunny sounds of his favorite music, his sport, and his city. His enthusiasm is infectious. From the Soil to the Soul is an album that will challenge hard-hearted critics, delight faithful fans, and offer great pleasure to anyone who loves music." -Neal Hayes, Pop Matters

"Bluesy, soulful, funky, melodic, sometimes dreamy, and even hard-rocking, Guerrero's album takes you on a wild and eclectic, yet surprisingly impressive and enjoyable ride." Dustin, The Musical Universe

From The Soil To The Soul pulses with Tommy's distinctive organic, atmospheric sound, yet this time with a heavier resonance. Beasties-infused stripped down funk is layered with Americana, heavy psych, lo-fi fuzz and Latin rhythms, all with a breezy, laid-back San Francisco vibe. Renowned street artist Barry McGee, aka Twist, designed the cover art and Tommy called friends Lyrics Born, Curumin and Bing Ji Ling for guest vocals.

Phenomenal

Amazing work. One of my favorites. I'm continually impressed with his ability to stay fresh and relevant. Thank you Mr. Guerrero.

Biography

Born: September 9, 1966 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Tommy Guerrero may be better known in the world of skateboarding than music. Born in San Francisco, Guerrero joined the skateboard company Powell Peralta in 1985 and became one of the original members of the legendary "Bones Brigade" team. Always interested in music, Guerrero was a fan of the high-energy punk music that surrounded the early-'80s skate scene. Since then, Guerrero has become an accomplished bassist and guitarist with influences as diverse as John Coltrane, Latin Playboys, and Tortoise....
Full Bio
From the Soil to the Soul (Exclusive Bonus Version), Tommy Guerrero
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