This has quite a story, as per the press release that came along with this album – Faith Evans Ruch may remember her new album, Lessons in Falling, as the one that almost got away. Why? Here’s why:
The act of finishing this record was a defiant one. After a devastating break up and a life-threatening illness, Faith fought to finish an album that started as a love letter to the man and the life she thought was the one. Its sound is her most lush and eclectic yet, returning to the full-band treatment of her debut album 1835 Madison but introducing myriad new influences from soul and R&B to polished contemporary pop to the folk-Americana bones of her songwriting style.
Two years in the making, the album began as a love letter. She was going to call it Mercy. But three days before she was set to complete it, her relationship ended abruptly and Faith made a call to her longtime producer Kevin Houston to cancel the session.
“I told him I was considering trashing the whole project,” she says. “But he convinced me to come do the session and not let go of the art we’d made. He encouraged me to find a way to make peace with my pain in a way that allowed me to still love and finish this record I’d worked so hard on.”
A few weeks after that session, Faith almost lost her life to a severe case of meningitis that left her hospitalized for a week and on strict bedrest for more than a month.
“I’d hit my low physically and emotionally, and I stayed angry and I stayed rolling around in that pain and misery for another couple weeks after I was discharged from the hospital, until I just couldn’t take it anymore,” she says. “I realized that I needed to decide if I was going to let this hold me back or hurl me forward.”
By now you know which one she chose. And with that, Popdose is very pleased to share with you the first single from the album, “I’m Yours”. This has all the earmarkings of a radio hit (but as we all know, radio has gone to Hell) – nonetheless, you can easily imagine it coming out of the car speakers, etc. You know the drill. It has that kind of punch; that soulful, special Memphis vibe that walked right out of the ’60’s and into 2017. And that’s just the start. “Beg For Mercy” is a slower, heavy-duty blues driven piece; something you can easily imagine someone like Albert King wailing on; “Sugar” is undoubtedly an Otis Redding-style track; Ms. Ruch’s voice makes you feel – powerfully – it’s a song to completely embrace and for me, made me return to. “Blood From A Stone” is a lyrically clever, smooth soul workout; “Rock Me Slow” is the surprise, with its gentle, acoustic-based opening and Ms. Ruch’s vocal skills; I love how the song slowly builds up with organ, into horn section and full band – another “lost” Stax classic, when you think of it and her version of Sonny Bono’s classic “Bang Bang” is a fresh take – a groove mixed with a deliciously twangy, heavily reverbed guitar.
Until now, I was unaware of Ms. Ruch’s music but after reading the story behind this particular album and having the opportunity to listen to it, live with it, feel and absorb it, all I can say is I want more. Faith Evans Ruch has that something special and it’s evident to me in these ten tracks. And I’m very glad this album did NOT get away…
Lessons In Falling will be released on Friday, October 13th, 2017