Flower Power

Macy Gray's second outing showcases her originality and talent.

Watch black-brown syrup melt slowly in white water and you have an illustration of the kind of sound this titan makes.

Macy Grey stepped on Music Stage two years ago, and rode the radio wave when her fantastically-crafted album "On How Life Is" introduced her as a quirky-looking, scratchy-sounding soul machine. Her biggies - "I Try" and "Do Something" created new sounds in R&B, sounds that carried a part of the blues with them, and the critics started putting her up against the Tina Turner.

"Relating To A Psychopath" is the opening; with lyrics like "hot like hot wings with hot chocolate in hell, cold like in my isolation cell" it introduces you to the temper of the music hereafter. Like a crash course in creative writing, the lyrics actually hit home, pulling tiny ideas from dark niches of your mind.

"Sexual Revolution" tells you that "your mama lied when she told you to be discreet, and keep your freak to yourself", "Gimme All Your Lovin’ Or I Will Kill You" is full of dark angles on how to get your love.

I loved all of these, but my favourites were "Oblivion" and ‘Hey Young World", which features the original’s Slick Rick. "Sweet Baby" has a cameo in Erykah Badu, one of the authentic soul divas. "My Nutmeg Phantasy" brings in Angie Stone and Mos Def, this one another A-lister.

Macy’s voice colours psychedelic patterns in the air, and, while some of the tunes are definitely "flower-power-esque", the content is amusing and immensely likeable. 

This article was first published on 20 Nov 2001.