Res -- How I Do (MCA 2001)
by Randy Krbechek
How I Do is a tasty slice of urban pop, with catchy grooves and crossover appeal. All told, an appealing concoction.
Res (Shareese Rene Ballard) was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The 23-year-old singer has a classical training, and studied at Temple University. According to Res, the album "is about being young, energetic, carefree, just loving life and appreciating it for what I have and what I'm doing."
How I Do was created by Res (pronounced "Reese") and Minneapolis-bred multi-instrumentalist Doc. Doc previously worked with Canadian trip-pop pixie Esthero on her 1998, Breath From Another.
Doc provides guitars, bass, keyboards, and programming, and is joined by Chuck Treece on drums, and Soul Fingaz on keyboards. Providing the instrumentation for the title track is A Kid Called Roots, while Mr. Khaliyl provides drums, bass, and keyboards on three tracks, including the catchy, "Ice King."
Res can be heard providing guest vocals on GZA's "Beneath the Surface" and Talib Kweli's "Too Late." Yet when asked, "Do you rap?", she answers, "No, I sing. People look at me and they think 'Oh, you're going to make an R&B record.' Not so. My s***'s more based out of rock and reggae influences."
How I Do is smooth urban pop, with plenty of beats and the infectious voice of Res. Standout cuts include "Let Love" and "Sittin' Back." The album concludes with a hidden bonus track, "Say It Anyway," with a full-on guitar lead. Funky, catchy, fun - that's Res.
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-- Randy Krbechek