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by
12 October, 2006@12:00 am
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     If Tommy Guerrero isn’t one of the most overlooked musicians of the last few years, we don’t know who is.
 
     Since his days as a pro skater he’s been in the spotlight, garnering attention for his skills and creativity. But it was in 1995, with the release of the now revered Backintheday ten-inch release, that the spotlight shifted from his skating to his music production. After a few releases on MoWax: A Little Bit of Somethin’, Junk Collector and Soulfood Taqueria - Guerrero released Year of the Monkey, an EP out now on Galaxia Records. With a reputation that precedes him, his latest release, From the Soil to the Soul, is actually his debut on Quannum Projects.
 
      The disc begins with a minimal instrumental piece, which relies on a charming piano riff. And although its somber compared to the rest of the CD, it is a perfect indicator of the charm and laid-back listen that this is. As one would expect from a Tommy Guerrero record, the bulk of the recordings are mostly organic sounding instrumentals, all soaked in funk and soul influences. Besides a few guest spots from frequent collaborator Lyrics Born, the disc also features two vocal tracks. Although these are not the album’s highpoints, they’re still solid collaborative efforts that are delivered with obvious chemistry between the musicians, which only adds to the overall charisma of the album. Moreover, songs like “The Underdog”, “Tomorrow’s Goodbye”, “No Guns More Glory” and “Just Ain’t Me” all contain swirling guitar riffs, vibrant basslines and lively percussion. This shouldn’t be without mention that Guerrero not only writes most of the music himself, but also plays the bass, guitar, keys and even some percussion on select tracks.
 
    Delivered with the grace and effortless feel of his past releases, From The Soil To The Soul is another beautifully crafted project from Guerrero, and is another triumph for the ever-solid team from Quannum. Roughly 40-minutes total, From The Soil To The Soul is without a doubt time well spent – not to mention one of the year’s best releases.

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