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Trouble with Being Myself
     

The Trouble with Being Myself

5.0 3
by Macy Gray
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/15/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998653528
catalogNumber:
86535

Tracks

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   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
Mike Melnick   Engineer
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
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

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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The Trouble with Being Myself 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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"
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.