Album Review: Macy Gray – The Sellout
US Pop/R&B diva Macy Gray is back this week after a long hiatus away from the glitz and glamor of stardom with killer comeback album The Sellout.
As a fan of Macy this album gets me very excited and after my first listen I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a top quality comeback that would make anyone proud to call their own.
Macy approached this record with the same versatility and attitude heard on her previous albums particularly On How Life Is and The Id and considering these were her most critically successful records The Sellout looks set to return the raspy voiced singer to the international arena where she was last seen ten years ago.
Macy Gray has one of the most distinctive voices of any female in music. Raw and gritty with emotion seeping from every pore she creates an atmosphere on this collection of songs that make them sound fresh, with the ballads full of emotion and the dance numbers packed with energy and substance.
Highlights? Well there is ample for anyone to chose from on The Sellout and I found it really hard to single out any one track as a favorite but if I had to chose then Kissed It would probably take the crown. I’ve always preferred the uptempo, dance number Macy to the ballads. I mean…dont get me wrong I love the slow numbers and think she pulls them off really well but I think she is in her prime leading the way to the dance floor. This track does’nt fail in terms of zest and energy. Its chorus is the perfect sing along and the lifting rhythm hits the right spot with a clapping beat that has a life of its own. Throw in Slash and Velvet Revolver and you have yourself a winner.
Feet stamping acoustic US lead single Beauty in the World is also a great track. Very environmentally topical it’s a gentle semi-ballad. You can here on the albums recording how beautiful this track would sound in an intimate live setting. The UK lead single Lately is another album gem. Starting out in true seventies style the song sets off on a self proclaiming ride full of hooks and a message of self independence whilst never loosing its smooth disco feel.
Help Me adds the perfect centre to the record with a light synth backdrop, a self analyzing song with complimenting backing vocals it leads nicely to acoustic guitar driven number Let You Win leading the summer feel on the record.
The album also features a rare appearance for controversial bad boy Bobby Brown on the duet Real Love.
The Sellout is without question the best Macy Gray album since On How Life Is. The tracks sound like they have been worked at to create just this and I look forward to seeing the singer showcase the album when she hits UK shores to play the intimate Leicester Square Theatre on July 15th.