Macy Gray

Macy Gray returns with The Id, which follows her soulful 1999 debut, On How Life Is. Her new set is funkier and has more dance grooves than her debut. Gray’s voice may be an acquired taste—she sounds like Billie Holiday on helium—but it’s well worth a listen. The opening track, “Relating to a Psychopath,” is funky good fun; it’s very Sly & the Family Stone-like, and Gray isn’t afraid to wear her neuroses on her sleeve. The album’s first single, “Sweet Baby” (with Erykah Badu) is a soulful ballad along the lines of Marvin Gaye. The best song here is “Sexual Revolution”—it starts as a gospel number, then switches to a funky disco sound with whistle calls and all. The Id should add plenty of new converts to Gray’s growing fan base. Far from being afraid of her weirdness, on this album Macy Gray lets her freak flag fly.