Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Res is back, but she never really left!

i want you to think back to your youth. think of the music you were listening to. think of an album or a few songs that really struck a cord with you. try to remember lyrics that spoke to you as a person, to your soul, that REALLY spoke to YOU, or said your words for you. for me, one of the albums that did just that was, “How I Do”, by res. I was probably sixteen or seventeen and res’ sound was unlike anything i had heard before – a combination of rock, funk, a little hip-hop, and strong r&b. not only did res’ unique sound strike me, but her poignant lyrics and smooth, sometimes brass, and always sexy voice told a story that could be meant for anyone. i fondly remember visiting a friend in atlanta, georgia and one night we snuck into an enormous club and one of the many music videos the dj played on the wall screen was a remix of the song ‘They Say Vision’ which remains to this day, one of my all time favorite songs. everyone was clamoring to find out who the artist was and it became a proud moment of mine when i could matter-of-factly explain who res was and how much i recommended the album. a few years went by as i waited for the sequel to this gem, but the waiting never produced any results.

flash forward several years later and i happened upon res’ myspace page and i discovered how the album i so dearly loved never proved to be a chart riser like i had anticipated. i simply chalk that up to res being ahead of her time. through blogs written by this musical genius i soon learned more of the story of how res sought to escape her contract obligations and strike out on her own. as an independent artist it seemed less likely i would ever own another res album. thank god i was absolutely wrong!

late last year res finally released her sophomore album, “Black.Girls.Rock.” i went into listening all ten tracks expecting more of what i heard when i sneaking into clubs as a teenager. this record is not like that, not completely. i admit my initial disappointment kept me from listening to the album entirely over and over as i had its predecessor. flash forward again, this time a few weeks back, as i was preparing a playlist for an art class i was teaching. i came across, “Black.Girls.Rock.” and decided to listen with fresh ears and much to my absolute embarrassment this mostly Rock album – well, rocks times twelve! there’s still a little funk and r&b, but at the heart is the very real res who’s words are given amazing expression. the album serves as a very personal and detailed journal of the last few years of res’ life, allowing listeners to relate and gleam some inside wisdom from the artist’s trials and triumphs. there has been as much growth and evolution of the artist as there is of the woman that is res.

i hope sometime in the near future i’m able to catch res’ live show as it appears she’s performing throughout the states promoting. if i ever get a chance to tell res how much her music has inspired me, touched me as though it were words from a friend, and given me confidence to overcome anything – even at the most bleak of times, then the wait between albums will have been worth it for me. please check out the link below and experience the magic of res’ music! also, check out her collaboration with talib kweli and graph nobel as the band, Idle Warship – amazing funked out jams!

Res' Official Website