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on 14 October 2003
It's a mad, mad, mad, mad Macy all over again. Ms. Gray is back with her third album "The Trouble With Being Myself" her best work to date. Macy burst on to the music scene all those years ago with her critically aclaimed debut album "On How Life Is", which sold millions of copies by word of mouth and went quadruple platinum. A year or so later she released her secound album "The Id" which was nowhere near as successful as its predecessor, but which in my opinion was just as good.
Now she's back and better than ever. Her sound has matured and even her vocal styling has improved. Macy Gray's trademark voice, which has been described as "Marge Simpson on helium" has a certain vulnerability in it which can, at times, make all the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. So what can you expect from this album? Sex, drugs, murder, happiness, love, some more sex and a whole lot more.
The first single off the album "When I See You" is a funk-filled dancefloor filler that will have you tapping your feet within seconds. The first ballad on the album, "She Ain't Right For You," is in the same vein as "I Try" and is catchy and will have you singing along without you even realising it. Track eight, "My Fondest Childhood Memories," is truly a work of genius, both musically and lyrically. This song tells the story of how when Macy was younger she found her babysitter "sexing with my father" and the plumber "plunging my mother". She then proceeds to kill the plumber and the babysitter in order to secure her parents marital happiness. Only on a Macy Gray album could you find a song like this. On "Screaming" Macy confesses to "crying cause I miss my father" and goes on to say "all of my troubles they go away when you're on top of me loving me down".
Other stand out tracks on the album include the Al Green-inspired "Speechless" the funky love song "She Don't Write Songs About You" and the politically enfused "It Ain't The Money". Collaborations on this album include Pharoahe Monch, Beck, and even her three children. If you like Macy Gray you'll love this album, if you hate Macy Gray you'll love this album. "The Trouble With Being Myself" will surely help to secure Ms. Gray's position as a Diva in the making.
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on 18 June 2003
When this came out in Hong Kong I rushed to buy it and was then mistified as to why it wasn't higher up the charts in the UK where Ms Gray has always been popular. The album is totally worth the price from the blast of funk and sunshine of "when I see you", the electic "it aint the money" with Beck lending support, to the smile inducing "Jesus for a Day" which has to be regarded as a Macy Gray signature tune. This won't disappoint.
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on 4 May 2003
A good return for Macy Gray. Her previous album the ID was fairly weak and bland, this one is the opposite. ALthough i am usually a rock lover, Macy's unusal talent for creating great songs, almost anyone can enjoy really attracts me to this album. The best tracks in my opinion are When I See You, it ain't the money and she don't write songs about you. Macy's third album is a natural progression for her, it works, it's great. A much stronger album than the other two, well done, i recommend buying this if you liked her other two albums, or if you are accessing Macy Gray for the first time. Very pleasent, and occasionally hilarious.
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on 28 April 2003
After her so-so sophomore release, The Id, Macy is back in ever better form on her latest album, The Trouble With Being Myself.
The album starts with a bang with the frenetic first single, "When I See You".
Beck adds his lovely voice to the fun & quirky "It Ain't The Money".
Next is a quite beautiful ballad, "She Ain't Right for You" which is very similar to her previous hit, "Still", but still maintains enough differences to rise it above the comparisons.
Macy gets a little funky on "Things That Made Me Change" as she sings that "these are things that made me change. I hope it's for the good, cuz I'll never be the same".
The funk gets even brassier on the single-worthy, "Come Together".
Next, is one of the highlights of the album, "She Don't Write Songs". With playful lyrics and a kickin' beat, this song harkens back to the fun and funny Macy we all fell in love with on her first album.
"Jesus For a Day" slows things down a bit, but is still an otherwise nice ballad.
"My Fondest Childhood Memories" has great, tasteless, quirky lyrics and music that are reminiscent of her older material, such as "I've Committed Murder" and the creepy, "Oblivion".
Next, "Happiness" features some touching lyrics and vocal backing from her own kids. It's a really nice moment on the album.
"Speechless" explores more of the R&B and soul angle of the album, while Macy's unique voice really shines during the bridge of the song.
"Screamin'" is another awesome song. Not only do her lyrics truly shine, but the music is catchy in a sing-a-long sort of way. Another real highlight of the album.
"Every Now and Then" brings Macy's latest epic to a close in great form. Be sure to listen to the end of the track, as there's a surprise musical solo at the end.
Summation:
Standout tracks: When I See You, Come Together, She Don't Write Songs, My Fondest Childhood Memories, and Screamin'
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on 30 April 2003
Macy Gray is one of the greatest artists to come out in a very long time. Innovative and exciting, it comes as no surprise that her third album is as amazing and in places surpasses the sheer excellence of the last two.
Highlights include the highly infectious and life affirming "When I see you", "Jesus for a Day", "She don't write songs for you"....
Lyrically Macy is a genius. It is almost as if she sees into the human hearts most intimate thoughts and sings the things we dare not speak...
The Trouble with being Macy...no trouble at all.
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on 26 July 2004
A great new release but what's with the mix? Prepare your tweeters for some serious overtime. The rhythm section especially is thin & tinny compared to earlier releases - slapping wet fish? The album is burdened with a plastic feel & too often lacks depth. Respect Macy the musician. Buyers interested in a journey to coolville might want to try the two earlier releases or wait for the next.
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on 21 May 2003
if your into macy gray then this will not disapoint like her last album disapointed me, just could not get into it!! she is great live and only she could sing these mad songs. Her songs usually tell a crazy story, like killing her babysitter after she had slept with her father, hopefully not a true story!! It would be hard to beat her first album but this brings you close, in macy's very unique style xxx
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on 10 May 2003
I was hoping for a lot with this album. I was hoping she would return to the stylish, jazzy, hippy-ish beats of her first album, "On How Life Is". There were glimmers of her originality on her second release "The Id", but these were few and far between, with her prefering a more zaney, dance style which I dont think she can pull off particularly well.
Here I am happy so say that she has returned to her roots, ditched her colaborations in favour of good honest pop songs.....for the most part.
"She Ain't Right For You", not dissimilar to "Still" on her first record, is an example of when something works for you, stick to it. "She Dont Write Songs About You" is another example her talent to write a good catchy melody. Other stand-out songs are "Things That Made Me Change" and "Happiness".
Bar the Dreadfull first single and the lyrics on a couple of songs, this is an good record and a welcome return for the squeaky voiced one.
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on 6 May 2003
I happen to think Macy Gray is one of the premier artists at the moment, and I'm very pleased to see her sounding so good on this new album. Though her last one ( The Id ) had some fine moments, I found it a bit much for repeated listenings. Not the case with "The Trouble..." I've listened straight through about 10 times since buying it, and still want to play it again. She's sounding in great spirits and better than ever vocally. Really good songs like "Childhood Memories", "She Ain't Right for You" and "When I See You" are among the highlights, but I'm still finding a new favourite with every other listen. A solid album.
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