Res – Black.Girls.Rock [Download Here Free]
4 stars out of 5
Since her eponymous release in 2001, Res had a special place in my heart. She seemed to be a kindred musical soul — Gospel choir trained, soul music fed and rock music inspired. Her debut album featured a little known songwriter then known as Santi White who would be known to the world as Santigold. How I Do was released during the height of the capitalization period of Neo-Soul and sadly it didn’t find a home (although she did have a #1 dance hit with “They Say Vision”). This phenomena isn’t new; too “Rock” for black radio and a Black woman on “rock” radio isn’t going to happen (ask Nona Hendryx from LaBelle).
In spite of this quandary, Res continued to rock out, touring with Gnarls Barkley, Marc Ecko and contributing to the “Maid in Manhattan” and “Akeelah and the Bee” soundtracks. She joined up with Talib Kweli and Graph Noble to form the hip-hop super group Idle Warship and release the Party Robot mixtape, all while working on her 2nd album Black.Girls.Rock.
Following in the footsteps of LaBelle and Betty Davis, Res continues the legacy of genre-busting black women who aren’t afraid to square up next to her white male (and female) peers. While listening to the album I kept thinking P!nk; they both have a similar husky bluesy tone which is showcased on songs like “Leave Here Tomorrow” and “By Myself”.
However I would have liked more amped up guitars as this is a bit more acoustic rock than hard rock. “On My Way” is lyrically related to her first single “Golden Boys” but this time she takes an introspective look within against a Brit-soul backdrop. My favorite song on the album is “Pretender” — the kick on that drum hooked me in seconds and sonically the chorus is reminiscent of her song “Tsunami”.
Black.Girls.Rock is a great pop-rock sophomore album with an indie feel. It isn’t a total departure form the sounds established on Res’ previous album but sounds like she took a step closer to what she originally envisioned her music to sound like in the beginning. A confident woman emerges who isn’t afraid to step out from among the masses of auto-tuned “independent” women who defer all aspects of their career to a man and declare that yes, black girls do rock!
Do yourself a favor download this FREE album and diversify your iPod!