Entertainment Weekly (8/28/92, p.65) - "...a jumping hip hop album....proves that rap played by live musicians can slam nearly as hard as anything out of Compton..." - Rating: B+
Vibe (Fall/92, p.29) - "...aspires to greatness..."
The Source (9/92, p.55) - 3.5 Stars (out of 5) - "...the Brand New Heavies bring a bold mixture of funk, acid and jazz to the sphere of rap....the Heavies prove that hip hop can survive without samples....A must for your collection....consistently entertaining..."
Option (Nov.-Dec./92, p.101) - "...the Brand New Heavies have decided to take what Sugar Hill did with live instruments and make it more street credible by injecting it with legit scratching and sampling..."
Musician (10/92, p.100) - "...delivers a few superior jams....generally engaging results..."
The Brand New Heavies: Simon Bartholomew (guitar); Andrew Levy (bass); Jan Kincaid (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Gang Starr, Main Source, Grand Puba, Masta Ace, Ed O.G., Black Sheep, Kool G. Rap, Tiger, Pharcyde, Jamalski (vocals); Mike Smith (saxophone); Martin Shaw (trumpet); Paul Daley (percussion).
Producers include: The Brand New Heavies, Orlando Aguillen.
Engineers include: Tim Orford, Joe Primeau, Jay Lean.
Includes liner notes by James Bernard.
The Brand New Heavies collaborate with a stylistic assortment of rappers on their second album, but the jazzy soul sound of HEAVY RHYME EXPERIENCE, which is live rather than sampled, is all their own. The Heavy trio of Simon Bartholomew, Andrew Levy and Jan Kincaid, who came up through London's acid-jazz underground, is a rock-solid core with a natural affinity for rhythms that twist and turn. The Heavies move easily from the rubbery, pogoing dancehall of "Jump N' Move," which features Jamalski, to a mellow vibe over which Guru throws down looser rhymes on "It's Gettin Hectic." Main Source rides a slow groove deep into the pocket of "Bonafide Funk," on which horns lazily fade out at the end of every other measure. The Heavies are equally capable of laying down a noir-ish groove, as they do to match Kool G. Rap's menacing rhymes on "Death Threat." We eagerly await Volume 2.