Breath From Another, Esthero, 1998
Esthero is a talented writer slash vocalist from Toronto and she's worked with some of the most creative musicians in the music industry. Just to name a few, she's collaborated with Kanye West, John Forte, the Black Eyed Peas, Cee Lo, Andre 3000, Nelly Furtado, Saul Williams, Mos Def, Timbaland and many more. I recently learned that Esthero wrote for Kanye West's ground breaking album, 808's & Heartbreak. She wrote the Love Lockdown and Robocop and it explains one reason why I like that album. Breath From Another was her first album released around 1998, but I didn't learn about it until 2005. Her second album, Wicked Lil Girls was my formal introduction to her music and I made my way back to this album (like I always do).
Breath from another is a collection of loungy tracks accompanied by Esthero's soulful lyrics. Even though the music is laid back, Esthero throws in some unexpectedly raw lyrics. The album starts off with a guest feature by Redman and there are no more featured mc's on the album. For example, she taunts other women by saying how she gets "wetter than you." I'm not exactly sure how to follow that up, but it displays how Esthero is everything an artist can be, soft, strong, raw, creative, in your face, independent, melodic, unique and the list could go on.
[audio:http://ra-nyc.com/boywithstick/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/05-Country-Livin-The-World-I-Know.mp3|titles=05 Country Livin' (The World I Know)]
Her last album, Wicked Lil Girls was a complete departure from Breath From Another. The second time around, Esthero's music was more cheery, upbeat and definitely could appeal to a more diverse audience. I think Wicked Lil Girls is best represented by the track called We R In Need of a Musical ReVoLuTIoN. While the album moved forward from Breath From Another, Esthero collaborated with Sean Lennon, Andre 3000, Jemini, Jelleestone and Cee Lo on Wicked Lil Girls. You can expect a new album soon from this Toronto native and there's no better time to become familiarized with her work. Check out her first two albums and it will more than likely make you want to check out her upcoming project. Just as a tip, she had tracks from her upcoming project on her MySpace page, so it's worth it to check it out. I expect her to push forward with her new work as she always does.