12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

No Regrets feels like the first opportunity this long-working vocalist has had to simply be herself on a record. Her focus and self-assured demeanor come through immediately on the title track, a song fueled by inner strength and based around a cyclical, hypnotizing hook. While the album still shows traces of her stage training there is something more relaxed and human about her delivery here. Withers is drawn to club music (“Rock & Rain”) and melodramatic showstoppers (“I Remember”), but her personality comes trough strongest on unadorned soul songs like “Take Me Back,” “Need Love,” “Alright” and “Because I Love You.” Songs like “Why” distinguish Withers from the competing ladies of modern R&B, but she doesn’t need to change her style to stand apart. She displays a dignity and strength that can only come from years of paying dues — a feeling that can’t be expressed in the kind of manufactured R&B songs we often hear on the radio. A song like “Say It Now” is a reflection of the expression Withers wears on the album cover — open but resolute, and with enough confidence to know she has nothing to hide.

EDITORS’ NOTES

No Regrets feels like the first opportunity this long-working vocalist has had to simply be herself on a record. Her focus and self-assured demeanor come through immediately on the title track, a song fueled by inner strength and based around a cyclical, hypnotizing hook. While the album still shows traces of her stage training there is something more relaxed and human about her delivery here. Withers is drawn to club music (“Rock & Rain”) and melodramatic showstoppers (“I Remember”), but her personality comes trough strongest on unadorned soul songs like “Take Me Back,” “Need Love,” “Alright” and “Because I Love You.” Songs like “Why” distinguish Withers from the competing ladies of modern R&B, but she doesn’t need to change her style to stand apart. She displays a dignity and strength that can only come from years of paying dues — a feeling that can’t be expressed in the kind of manufactured R&B songs we often hear on the radio. A song like “Say It Now” is a reflection of the expression Withers wears on the album cover — open but resolute, and with enough confidence to know she has nothing to hide.

TITLE TIME

About Elisabeth Withers

Best known for her Tony Award-nominated portrayal of Shug Avery in the Broadway musical version of The Color Purple, vocalist Elisabeth Withers is also a longtime singer/songwriter with a bent toward neo-soul and R&B. Born in Joliet, IL, Withers left home with a scholarship to study music at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. After graduating, she moved to New York City to attend NYU and graduated with a master's degree in 2000. Prior to her appearance on Broadway, Withers sang backup for a variety of artists, including Celine Dion and Jennifer Lopez. It was also during this time that she began writing and releasing dance singles under the alias Elle Patrice. Fortuitously, it was Withers' two hit singles released under her alias, "Rising" and "Emotions," that garnered the attention of soul artist Nick Ashford, who directed Withers toward the auditions for the Broadway production of The Color Purple. Withers released her debut solo album, It Can Happen to Anyone, on Blue Note in 2007. ~ Matt Collar

HOMETOWN
Joliet, IL
BORN
1975

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