The Heavy Soul Collective – Sketches Of…
1.) Tome La Rueda
2.) No More (feat. The Ambassador)
3.) Frontin’ (feat. The Ambassador)
4.) Your Love (feat. DIamonde Stone & Doc Science)
5.) No More Friends (feat. Bradley Nowell & Zach Lentine)
7.) Solid Ground (feat. The Ambassador
9.) Outself (feat. Inqwesson, Face Valyou, & Yesey Harden)
10.) Break For Tito
11.) My Time (feat. Zach Lentine)
12.) On The Sun
13.) I Tried (feat. Zach Lentine and Dena Epstein)
14.) …Know Better (feat. Zach Lentine)
15.) Goin’ Places (feat. The Ambassador)
16.) In Me (feat. De-Von Mitchell)
17.) Olde Tavern Dub
18.) New Day
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Official Website: Brent Hoskin’s Official Website
The Heavy Soul Collective, AKA Brent Hoskins, started playing the drums when he was only 17 years old, then quickly added the guitar to his repertoire one year later. While learning both simultaneously, he began to write and record on a 4-track. Several years later, he graduated from Full Sail University with a degree in Recording Engineering. In late 2005, Hoskins formed the band THE SEED in Roanoke, Virginia with friend and co-writer Gabe “The Ambassador” Lewis. The band became one of the most popular acts to come from the area, gaining a devoted following. They released a self-titled album in 2008, which received great reviews. In 2009, The Seed parted ways, with Lewis re-locating to San Diego, and Hoskins to Philadelphia. Hoskins wrote, recorded, and performed for 2 years there, then decided to move back to his roots in Virginia.
Shortly after returning he released his first solo album under the name THE HEAVY SOUL COLLECTIVE. The album titled “Sketches Of…” features the music, instrumentation, production, and engineering of Hoskins along with the vocals of several different vocalists and mc’s from around the country. Two new albums are in the works at the moment, and could be available by early fall 2012.
Brent Hoskin’s Heavy Soul debut features a satiated and intriguing medley of big beats. It is an album in which Brent Hoskins could advertise both his production and musical abilities, not to mention the boatload of features, guest vocals, and instrumentalists that boost his credibility and musical variety.
Whether it be the array of bubbly instrumentals, samples of unreleased Bradley Nowell music, or numerous vocalists, The Heavy Soul Collective has created a genuine eighteen-track album from multiple musical perspectives. Epitomized by the frisky tinges of latin music, the feel-good vibes of modernized reggae, or the mellow, looped rhythms of hip-hop, “Sketches Of” surely is not one-dimensional or repetitive by any means. Not to mention appearances by San Diego’s Gabe Lewis AKA The Ambassador, Zach Lentine, and rappers Diamonde Stone, Doc Science, Inqwesson, and many more.
The Ambassador was Brent Hoskin’s former bandmate for The Seed. He provides his vocal talents for four mellow reggae songs throughout the eighteen-track album. Some were previously rehearsed and released with The Seed, but nevertheless still carry upon a catchy rhythm and skank. My favorite song No More retains an upbeat, staccato rhythm, while in Goin’ Places Hoskins masked the song with some echoic features of the dub genre.
If the song title has no guest appearances, you can assume this is one of the Heavy Soul Collective’s spicy instrumentals. Laced with heavy back-and-forth electronic beats, some take a more energized glance at a few different genres, while others like New Day are smooth reggae progressions, that seem to lack a vocal potentiality.
On The Sun is my favorite instrumental; it seems like a great song to wake up to and get charged up for the day. Through much of the album and especially his instrumentals, Hoskin’s guitar has a carved out, but mellow vibe, consistent with that latin vibe as well.
No More Friends was originally written by The Meditations out of Jamaica in 1974. The Heavy Soul Collective’s version samples the ever-so-famous voice of Bradley Nowell singing The Meditation’s song over a voicemail. Zach Lentine AKA Inner Astronaut also appears on four of the album’s tracks and lyrically-handcrafted his own verses to No More Friends.
Your Love is one of many hip-hop collaborations on Sketches of.., this time with Diamonde Stone and Doc Science. Rather than an technically produced beat however, The Heavy Soul Collective’s melody and style rings similarly to the famous Philadelphia hip-hop band The Roots.
Overall, Brent Hoskin’s debut exemplifies his depth at producing and blending a healthy variety of different genres. Both the collaborations and instrumentals debuted on the eighteen-track “Sketches of..” have unique elements to the latin, reggae, hip-hop, and dub genres. Furthermore, it is an exciting album to cycle through due to it’s harmonious diversity.
Written & Reviewed By: Matt Emodi
[Editors Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it's entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]