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R&B - Released January 1, 2012 | Savoy

Distinctions 4F de Télérama
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Pop - Released September 7, 2004 | Epic

In more ways than one, Macy Gray is a bit like the Dan Marino of neo-soul: full of promise and potential but never truly reaching her full blossom. Having only reached the Top Ten promised land once (and Top 40 only three times) in her five-year career on the good ship Epic, it's hard to call this a "very best of" and get excited about the songs held within the packaging. Starting off with the one-two chronological punch of "I Try" and "Do Something," the air starts to leak out of the ball ever so slowly as the compilation progresses, leaving a deflating feeling by the time the new additions are reached. And while "Love Is Gonna Get You" is as delightful as anything she's done in the past few years (the Philly soul strings and Memphis-styled production values make it infectiously delicious), the unforgivable atrocity that is her interpretation of Aerosmith's classic "Walk This Way" cancels that feeling out rather quickly. Nevertheless, if you wanted all of her hits together in one package, this is most definitely the place to start. ~ Rob Theakston
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R&B/Soul - Released September 17, 2001 | Epic

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R&B - Released July 3, 1999 | Epic

Macy Gray is such an assured, original vocalist that it's hard to believe On How Life Is is her debut album. She recalls a number of other vocalists, particularly jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Nina Simone, but she is unquestionably from the post-hip-hop generation, which is evident not just from the sound of the record, but the style of her songwriting, which is adventurous and unpredictable. Thankfully, she's worked with a producer (Andrew Slater, who pulled a similar trick with Fiona Apple's debut, Tidal) that lets her run wild and helps her find sounds that match her ideas. That's not to say that On How Life Is is a perfect album -- at times, Gray attempts more than she can achieve -- but it's always captivating, even during its stumbles. And when it works, it soars higher than most contemporary R&B. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2012 | 429 Records

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Pop - Released March 26, 2012 | 429 Records

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R&B/Soul - Released April 25, 2003 | Epic

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Concord Records, Inc.

Macy Gray began working on The Sellout just after her fourth studio album, Big, and the reasons it took three years to release are evident from the credits: she wrote lyrics plus music for most of the songs. The results of that effort are apparent, and they're not good. Gray wields one of the most naturally talented voices in R&B, but from the evidence here, she's not a songwriter, and her material for The Sellout proves she needn't worry further about selling out if she keeps on composing -- commercial success will easily avoid her. The first single, "Beauty in the World," has a lyric and melody by Gray alone, and despite the positive sentiments in the song, its melody is unmemorable and it includes a few embarrassing lines (e.g., "There is beauty in this world/So much beauty in this world/Always beauty in this world/So much beauty in this world/Shake your booty boys and girls/For the beauty in the world"). Still, there are a parade of collaborators on The Sellout, leading to plenty of solid moments, including the Rodney Jerkins production on "Help Me," the tender "Still Hurts" (written by Teedra Moses and Gray), and a few songs written and produced by Jared Lee Gosselin and Phillip White -- including "Real Love" with Bobby Brown, which succeeds wildly with its updated quiet storm production. Gray's vocals have only gotten better with time, and although she doesn't attempt to stretch at all, she's still one of the best-felt voices in neo-soul. As long as she avoids composing her own material without help from a few professionals, she'll ensure a long career. ~ John Bush
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Pop - Released March 31, 2017 | Epic - Legacy

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 31, 2017 | Epic - Legacy

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Pop - Released July 5, 2000 | Epic

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R&B - Released October 30, 2012 | 429 Records

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R&B/Soul - Released March 31, 2003 | Epic

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Pop - Released January 1, 2010 | Concord Records, Inc.