Touted as a musical wunderkind when his 1996 debut "Words" claimed the Grammy Award for best R&B album, Tony Rich took a break after follow-up "Birdseye" languished into oblivion.

Touted as a musical wunderkind when his 1996 debut "Words" claimed the Grammy Award for best R&B album, Tony Rich took a break after follow-up "Birdseye" languished into oblivion. The appropriately titled "Resurrected," his first new album in five years, leans heavily on rock, pop and funk. The singer/songwriter's expressive tenor is best showcased on ballads like the introspective "2 Waters." Shaking off the R&B tag he was labeled with early on, Rich rocks out credibly on "Future Daze." However, at 15 tracks, the album begins to drag halfway through and teeter on self-indulgence. Still, Rich's freshness is a welcome break from today's formulaic tripe.—GM