Tommy Guerrero is a man I wish more people my age knew about. One month ago, he released his 10th album in 13 years, Lifeboats and Follies.

A native San Franciscan, Guerrero has been releasing solo instrumental rock recordings, whose nuances in musical feel vary considerably, since 1997. As is said in every review, Tommy comes from the intense DIY culture of ’80s skating, having been a prominent member of the Bones Brigade, Peralta’s professional skateboarding team. He was a member of the skate rock band Free Beer and the experimental jazz and funk group Jet Black Crayon. His songs are cocktails of fused rock, soul, jazz, rap, and funk. Some of you might know him for his submissions to the game skate. by EA.

The music on Lifeboats and Follies is far more contemplative than his Soul Food Taqueria, meatier than A Little Bit of Something, and far smokier and more jazz-oriented than Hoy Yen Ass’n. The songs are often mysterious, ushering up dark purple and blue vistas of the fog-laden San Francisco Bay at four in the morning, pierced by the quiet orange and white of incandescent lights. Although the composition of these pieces is Guerrero’s, mad props have to go out to the musicians on this album, many of whom have played with Guerrero in Jet Black Crayon.

This is definitely my favorite album of 2011. If you’re looking for something to listen to while you ink comics at three in the morning, this is the ticket. This album is in that beautiful territory of being indefinable in terms of traditional genres. Highlights of the album’s style include laid-back instrumentation with funk and rocksteady as prime influences.

In summation, the biggest folly on your part would be to not hop out of your lifeboat into Guerrero’s sea of soul.

Hugs and kisses,

Juan Fernandez