Another Bargain From BARRIE'S DISCS......
is a multi-coloured, chocolate coated, wide flared, jumping pumping epic. Once a surprise hit, Macy Gray is now near the top of the soul tree (where she remains a strange fruit among a bunch of soundalikes). Her debut album On How Life Is
came from seemingly nowhere to be loved by millions. This follow-up has to contend with much greater expectations. But she doesn't disappoint. The opening track "Related to a Psychopath" is perhaps the album's best, a mixture of 60s and 70s funk that'll have you grinding in the streets. If that doesn't, then "Sexual Revolution" will ("So many things to do before I die"), a saucy butt-shaking hymn to acting out your fetishes. Slick Rick
's sing-song vocal on "Hey Young World II" is a perfect compliment to Macy's trademark mixture of gasp and squeak, but other guests, such as Erykah Badu
and Mos Def
, seem overwhelmed by Macy's larger-than-life presence. Lyrically she's strong, at times hilarious ("You're role model's in therapy") and much improved from the (relative) simplicity of debut tracks such as "I Try" and "Why Didn't You Call Me". Tracks such as "Boo" and "Freak Like Me" couple clever wordplay (she trained as a screenwriter) with the same anthemic quality. On occasions she loses the plot, particularly on "Oblivion" which sounds like it's written and performed by Oompa-Loompas, but this is, on the whole, an excellent follow-up to a brilliant debut.--Jake Barnes