Saturday, October 07, 2006

Notes: Res - How I Do

This isn't something on my computer. Rather it's something I rediscovered during the forced organization of my room. I've never had a cleaning and organization ritual be so rewarding but this one just keeps delivering.

Thanks goes to Luna for reminding about this amazing artist and thanks also goes to Gnarls Barkley for employing her as a background vocalist for their concerts. I saw the record and realized I had none of it on my computer, so I packed it so I could rip it when I got back to Mass.

So me and Bassline are cruising along, catching up, but we keep hitting this incessant, inexplicable traffic. Finally frustrated with all that's occurring, we both realize there is no music to soothe us. So he goes to me cause he's not exactly feeling his music choices. First I put in a Kelis album that I had brought for the same purpose as Res: songs I didn't have that I wanted to hear. But we only listened to the first track "Young Fresh & New" because it was obvious that it was not conducive to our mood and also because I heard the break in the song that I wanted to.

So next I put in Res. I was nervous. I always get nervous when I play not comercially accepted music that I like for others. But Bassline is a smart cookie and into kitschy kind of stuff so I wasn't that worried. But still.

And heaven rediscovered.

Even the newly musically snobbish Bassline (you take one theory class and you think you know everything) opened my eyes to the genius that was contained though my ear could tell it liked it, even if it didn't know the clinical terms. She rocks out when she wants. She vibes when she wants. And all the writing was pretty much handled by Santi White, who developed this thing around the late 90s of being the queen of women in underground NYC rock and it's pretty excellent.

My favorite track is definitely "Sittin Back", which totally embodies what I think Res was trying to accomplish, which is to say a certain "Man I'm a just take this music where I want it to go" kind of vibe. And it's all good.

Needless to say the album didn't sell all that well. The critics loved her. She even headlined a concert back in the summer after this came out. I mean Raphael Saadiq opened for her and Raphael Saadiq is instrumental in selling a whole lot more records. But ultimately the music is just too weird for mainstream success. Unlike Gnarls Barkley, there's no track on the album that makes you have a reaction a la "Crazy". There's no way you can't reaact to "Crazy" and that's what's given Gnarls its push. While most of the tracks for Res are great and innovative, even I admit nothing really says "man I gotta put that on repeat" and that is so what you need if you're not doing cookie cutter music. She's black but sings rockish hip hoppish soulish type of music. Ain't no radio station automatically adding that to their rotation.

Anyway good record. Glad I found it. Now you find it too.

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