|Macy Gray - On How Life Is|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Tuesday, 27 July 1999|
Macy Gray exudes sex and sexuality with her breathy voice and lyrics that are not afraid to step up to the edge. Her album ‘On How Life Is’ opens with "Why Didn’t You Call Me," a song dealing with the rejection brought by the reality that last night’s rendezvous was only a one-night stand. Gray’s lyrics move on to the more carnal and lusty with "Caligula" and border on pornographic with "Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak." Amazingly she never goes too far. The line of offensiveness is approached, maybe even kicked a bit, but not crossed.
The lyrics, while racy at times, deal with a wide variety of emotions associated with love and sex. It appears that Gray has opened up her personal love life as a source for this album, and her experiences include some moments she did not care for. Gray’s raspy voice continues to deliver powerfully throughout the album, displaying a personality that is forceful even when she’s been jilted. The songs are influenced by a mix of soul, R&B, pop and funk. Gray’s unique mix and even more unique voice will enable her to stand out from the current crop of female vocalists. Admittedly, the rejected woman routine gets a bit old, but thankfully that is not the main thrust of the album.
Gray is strong both in voice and attitude. This album is full of thoughtful and entertaining lyrics and funky rhythms that carry throughout. Definitely something different, and definitely recommended.