In the last couple of months since I did my End of the Decade Edition of Top Fives, I've been going through my media library and finding things that might have slipped through the cracks in the whole malaise of writing them. This became very apparent to me when I added a couple of songs to my mp3 player from the album How I Do, by Res.
Released in June of 2001, this album epitomized, maybe even helped craft, my love for artists who take great experimental leaps in their work. The album has tried and true hip-hop, jazz, and soul influences that you would expect in an album that would want to be classified as R&B, but the inclusion of alt-rock, psychedelia, folk, and reggae influences among others is what makes this album great. The best part of this, of course, is that this was her first album, so the fact that she swung for the fences as hard as she did was impressive.
The opening track ,"Golden Boys" is a nice "screw you" letter to the Adonises of media, placed in a nice little funky package with a nice orchestral sample for flourish. The next song on the album is the one that is a standout as far as I'm concerned, however:
Now the reason I put the video up there is to give a more visual representation of how different the song is for someone who, for all intents and purposes, would have been in a shiny sequined suit and would have been asked to do silly dance moves. She moves like a sultry rock star and is backed by a band in the video. The song itself plays her soulful voice over a pretty simple rock beat and it works incredibly well. This combo is played again a bit in other songs on the album, like "Ice King" and in a more subdued folky way on "Tsunami" (well, at least the first half of the song), but the rock/soul fusion is done so well.