The Trouble with Being Myself

( 3 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Macy Gray sure could teach Beyoncé a thing or two about being dangerously in love. While her younger sisters are sweatin' and swiveling their hips, Gray is busy battling demons -- whether they're departed lovers, the allure of drugs, or the shallowness of fame -- on her impressive third album, The Trouble with Being Myself. "She Ain't Right for You," a lush, strings-doused ballad, and "She Don't Write Songs About You," a slithery, Prince-inspired stab of funk, cast Gray as the perfect lover, but the fella has just moved on. And if those finger-wagging tales of passion hint at the lanky soulwoman's fatal attraction, she exposes it full-bore on "My Fondest Childhood ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Lydia Vanderloo
Macy Gray sure could teach Beyoncé a thing or two about being dangerously in love. While her younger sisters are sweatin' and swiveling their hips, Gray is busy battling demons -- whether they're departed lovers, the allure of drugs, or the shallowness of fame -- on her impressive third album, The Trouble with Being Myself. "She Ain't Right for You," a lush, strings-doused ballad, and "She Don't Write Songs About You," a slithery, Prince-inspired stab of funk, cast Gray as the perfect lover, but the fella has just moved on. And if those finger-wagging tales of passion hint at the lanky soulwoman's fatal attraction, she exposes it full-bore on "My Fondest Childhood Memories," a zany, ska-tinged reminiscence of a murderous past: "She wasn't a friend, so I killed her," she sings of the babysitter who was "sexing" with her father. Elsewhere, the pleasures in Gray's music are more straightforward. She gets her groove on in high style on the celebratory opening gem, "When I See You," and offers up a feel-good anthem in "Come Together." On "It Ain't the Money," rapper Pharoahe Monch and alterna-upstart Beck run interference on an inspired bit of organ-spiced hip-hop, while Gray turns a shade of Al Green with the transcendent ballad "Jesus for a Day." The melancholy "Happiness" and the heart-on-sleeve love song "Speechless" are forthright admissions of devotion, suggesting that beneath Gray's fiery libido and twisted tales lurks a body who just wants to be loved. Delivered with her singular voice -- an alluring fusion of strength and fragility -- that strain of honesty buzzes through both her billowy ballads and funk workouts, giving all of Macy Gray's songs the often elusive ring of truth.
Rolling Stone - David Thigpen
Part biography, part self-analysis, part feminine primal scream, Myself is a tour through familar Gray territory, spiked with humor and her take-no-bullsh*t attitude. Fans will instantly recognize the opener, "When I See You," as the sort of straightforward anthem in the mold of "I Try," her biggest hit.
Spin Magazine - Keith Harris
In an R&B universe full of hoochies and ingenues, Gray is perpetually auditioning to play the wacky neighbor in a hypothetical UPN sitcom -- or maybe the psycho ex-girlfriend. [B+]
Entertainment Weekly - Ken Tucker
Gray's third collection is crammed with easy-going rhythm-section grooves, topped with chicken-scratch guitar riffs, plonking piano chords, and nimble horn charts that span '60s soul and the jauntier aspects of present-day hip-hop. [A-]
Blender
No one else in the twenty-first century has whipped up the grooving jubilation Gray summons.
Interview
...perpetuates her fun-lovin', truth-talkin' persona with a trademark brew of funked up R&B spiked with ska and jazz.

In an R&B universe full of hoochies and ingenues, Gray is perpetually auditioning to play the wacky neighbor in a hypothetical UPN sitcom -- or maybe the psycho ex-girlfriend. [B+]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2003
  • Label: Epic Europe
  • EAN: 5099751081029
  • Catalog Number: 5108102

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Macy Gray Primary Artist, Vocals, Background Vocals
Michael Harris Trumpet
Chris Thomas Bass
Bobby Ross Avila Piano, Background Vocals
Beck Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Dallas Austin Guitar, Background Vocals, ARP
Marina Bambino Percussion, Background Vocals
Scott Breadman Percussion
Charles Green Saxophone, Background Vocals
Victor Indrizzo Guitar, Drums, Guitar Loops
Courtney Johnson Choir, Chorus, Children's Chorus
Arik Marshall Guitar
Daryle Swann Guitar
Chris Richardson Choir, Chorus
Herb Graham Jr. Drums
Steve Baxter Trombone
Dawn Beckman Background Vocals, Choir Master
Mike Elizondo Bass
Justin Meldal-Johnsen Bass, Background Vocals
Jeremy Ruzumna Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Hammond Organ, Turntables, Clavinet, Moog Synthesizer, chamberlain, Wurlitzer
Tracy Wannomae Bass Clarinet, Saxophone
Daniel Thomas Background Vocals
Ericka Yancey Background Vocals
Pharoahe Monch Background Vocals, Track Performer
Sy Smith Background Vocals, Choir Master
Traci Nelson Background Vocals
Printz Board Trumpet, Flugelhorn
David Wilder Bass
Audra Cunningham Background Vocals
Chinna Smith Background Vocals
Zac Rae Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Clavinet, chamberlain, farfisa organ, fender rhodes, Wurlitzer, Tack Piano
Amy Schneider Voices
Mark Ronson Guitar, Turntables
Marsha Ambrosius Vocals, Background Vocals
Natalie Stewart Background Vocals
Darryl Swan Guitar
Adam MacDougall Piano, Hammond Organ, Moog Synthesizer
Audra Cunningham Nishita Background Vocals
Rama Duke Background Vocals
Logan Duntzelman Choir, Chorus, Children's Chorus
Lukas Haas Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Kam Talbert Background Vocals
Sonny Swann Choir, Chorus, Children's Chorus
Aanisah Hinds Choir, Chorus
Happy Hinds Choir, Chorus
Tamel Hinds Choir, Chorus
Dave Rolicke Trombone, Saxophone
Tom Rawls Trombone
Jinsoo Lim Guitar
Fanny Franklin Background Vocals
DJ Kiilu Grand Turntables
Chris E. Thomas Bass
Technical Credits
Bobby Ross Avila Composer
Beck Composer
Dallas Austin Programming, Producer, Executive Producer
David Campbell String Arrangements
Victor Indrizzo Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Mike Melnick Engineer
Thom Russo Digital Editing
Daryle Swann Composer, Programming, Producer, Vocal Producer
Christopher Thomas Composer
Richard Shepherd Programming
Hooshik Art Direction
Justin Meldal-Johnsen Composer
Jeremy Ruzumna Composer, Programming
Macy Gray Composer, Lyricist, Producer
Dave Way Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing
Kilu Beckwith Producer
Pharoahe Monch Composer
Vidal Davis Composer
Chris Wonzer Engineer
Mark Ronson Programming
Neil Ward Engineer
Darryl Swan Composer, Programming, Producer, Vocal Producer
Israel Avila Programming
Rick Sheperd Programming
DJ Kiilu Grand Programming, Producer
David Paul Campbell String Arrangements
Ricky Shepherd Programming
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dig Deeper

    Having not been familiar with Grays earlier work, I originally did not like this album. I thought that the lyrics were ridiculous and pointless. However, I soon realized that this is simply Macy Grays sense of humor and after I realized that I began to respect her work. I love this album and can not wait to hear more from Macy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THE SURPRISE OF THE YEAR!

    This album is genius. I liked her debut quite a bit, was so-so on the follow-up "The Id," but am completely blown away by the new CD. At first I wasn't going to buy it, but jumped on board for an autographed version (sorry Macy, but it's true). This is easily the best album I've purchased this year (above White Stripes, Annie Lennox, etc.) and it's probably the most interesting since Missy's latest. A complete surprise. It's hard to explain. She doesn't have a technically fabulous voice, but the delivery of each song is perfect. It reminds somewhat of Beck's "Odelay" (he's featured on the CD to boot) in its unique appeal. Really daring/crazed lyrics: "When I was 10 I had a live in babysitter, she had a pet kangaroo wore big breasts and feathers. She gave me ice cream every time I screamed and hollered and I loved her till I caught her sexing with my father. She gonna hurt you daddy never again, so wasn't a friend, so I killed her." What's interesting about her lyrics is that unlike Eminem, for example, the music normally does not match the lyrics. She goes further by disguising them in foot-stomping disco music, cheery piano sets, or funked-up 70's grooves. Eminem's raps are either literal or dry humor. With her you get a Andy Kaufman-sense of craziness. Is the joke on us or is she serious? Who cares. I don't want to know. I love it. The lyrics above, for example, are from a song called "My Fondest Childhood Memories" and has a Madness feel to it (don't cringe, it works). She also brings in electronic, church organs, funky 70's riffs, disco, etc. etc. Each song is well-produced, but musically and vocally it's everything but the kitchen sink. Fun fun fun. The only mainstream camp artist around. Sample suggestions: Mainstream stuff = "When I See You" (the new single....a blast...disco track with 70's electronic elements), "She Ain't Right For You" (the album's "I Try"), "Come Together" Bizarre/edgy stuff = "Screamin," "My Fondest Childhood Memories," "She Don't Write Songs About You"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Birth of Sexy Velvet

    Macy Gray's presence is the birth of a truly eccentric, unique artists. Sure, her voice is not as sultry and powerful as Beyonce, or as smooth and casual as Ashanti's, or as earable and abundantly empowering as Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera, but something about it is quite mature beyond today's R&B streamed artists. Her voice is like sandpaper, which is quite as unique as her sexy-cool attitude, personality, and fashion. In her new album, The Trouble with Being Myself, her talent oozes soul. Messages are just so embraced throughout this whole album through the lyrics, the way that Macy performs them tenderly and sultry, and the funky rock, smooth psychadelic sound that moves like clouds in the sky. In my opinion, this is Macy's most personal and mature album of 2003. It's not only an album that runs so deep with so much soul (without bringing so much attention on herself like Christina and Beyonce), it's also an upbringing of unique harmony that should be the most embraced by the angelic, soul searching nature that it brings.

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