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Soul In Exile 2's First Review, 2003

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Wow ... it has been 20 years since Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby got its first review, before it was even finished. Kudos to Gary Wien for the fine words. The Home of Asbury Park Rock’n’Roll

Demo Reviews for September 7, 2003

CD Review: Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby by The Hesh Inc.

(3 ½ stars out of 5)

1. Jersey Shore Baby 2. Coastal Groove (You Know It’s All Right) 3. Bruce! 4. Coda 5. Beach Town in the Off Season 6. Lost In Your Universe 7. Town Full of Self-Described Saints 8. Feel Alive Tonight 9. Paramount Theatre (This Is No Dream) 10. This Is The Time

The Hesh is somewhat of a local icon in the Jersey Shore scene. Currently living in California, he is hoping to keep his connection to the Shore alive until he is able to return. He recently sent over a copy of his Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby, a rough mix of a record he’s working on, for review.

While it’s rather easy to tell that some of these songs are still rather rough mixes, there are several gems on this CD. The record is as much of an ode to the Jersey Shore as it is a rock opera about the area. Heshy deserves credit for trying to create such a body of work; however, the record loses momentum in places as he tries to find his true voice.

On some songs, Heshy sounds like he’s trying to be Bruce Springsteen, other times he sounds like Bob Dylan. At certain times it appears as though everything is in sync and his voice stands somewhere between Warren Zevon and Dylan. It’s during those songs where the true promise of this record comes alive.

Soul In Exile 2: Jersey Shore Baby has wonderful lyrics and music clearly identifiable as Jersey Shore sounding. At times it appears to move too closely to Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle but, then again, who else would even try matching up to that piece of work? With horns throughout the record and help from several popular Jersey Shore musicians (PK Lavengood from John Eddie’s band, Mark Nuzzi from Soul Engines, Rory Daniels, Mike Dalton, Ken “Stringbean” Sorensen and Trina Scordo from Steel Pier Sinners to name a few) he has assembled quite a supporting cast and the music stands on its own.

Highlights on this disc include “Lost In Your Universe,” “Bruce!”, “Feel Alive Tonight” and “Beach Town in the Off Season,” which just might be the best Jersey Shore instrumental since Springsteen’s “Paradise By The C.”

The best thing that can be said about this record is that Heshy clearly invokes the sound and the imagery of the Jersey Shore. If you listen with your eyes closed you can definitely imagine being on the beach on a hot July night. With a little more work, this record could become a wonderful addition to any Jersey Shore music fan’s collection.

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