Macy Gray - The Sellout
"I'm coming way back ... because I'm missing all my fairweather fans" sings Macy Gray on 'The Comeback', the closing track of her 6th studio album. It's an astute point - for much of the public, Gray's career began and ended with 1999's On How Life Is. There are plenty of those fairweather fans still out there, so will The Sellout convince them?
The things that Macy have going for her are her unique voice and the attitude she's always displayed, and on the funky 'Help Me' ("I'm a psycho broad, I'm just misunderstood"), she retreads old ground both musically and lyrically. Listen further though and Gray's got some surprises up her sleeve. 'Kissed It' is a glam stomper, assisted by Velvet Revolver, while 'On & On''s bleepy-bloopy electronic beats come out of nowhere to liven things up, and the jazzy 'That Man' will tide radio over nicely until Amy Winehouse makes another record.
There's certainly some mis-steps, though. As the intro to 'Real Love' plays out and Bobby Brown says seductively "Let's do a song together that has lyrics", it's hard not to cringe. The track that follows is little better, a dull slow jam that's so laid back it's in danger of falling over. Similarly, 'Still Hurts' is a generic R&B ballad that even Macy's unique voice can't raise above mediocrity.
Maybe this isn't the album to bring her fairweather fans back, but those who are still along for the ride will find enough to enjoy.