MCA – 2002 – 51 minutes

With disappointing recent works from the likes of Macy Gray, Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill, there's an audience ready for consolation from a new voice.

Enter Shareese Renee Ballard aka Res, a Philly girl who makes it all sound very easy. While she can hit all the high notes when needed, there's a low-key, resigned quality to Res' voice which makes 'How Do I' all the more alluring.

Over 11 songs she moves in and out of soul, hip-hop, R 'n' B and even reggae, but the arrangements never once fade into the background and while Res only shares writing credits on two songs, every lyric comes across as lived in and learned from.

The music on this record is nothing if not familiar, but it moves and sways with such style that you'll take the trip again. One of the most promising crossover albums in quite some time.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Golden Boys - They-Say - 700 Mile Situation - Ice King - Sittin' Back - How Do I - If There Ain't Nothing - The Hustler - I've Known The Garden - Let Love - Tsunami - Toxic You