Album Review

Aaron George
It’s been about three years since the lady from Canton Ohio with the smokey voice and who is named Macy Gray has released a new album. But she is back and this time it was her behind the production wheel and you can tell that the past three years spent working on it was a labor of love. The Sellout is an uplifting soul/pop album that keeps with Grays trademark of bitter sweet love stories and that amazing voice of hers.

The opening track, which is also the title track, sets the tone with mellow guitar leading into an irresistible song about how love often means giving up certain parts of the self (hence selling out). This song, the bulk of the songs really, are layered thick with rumbling bass and crackling highs. Things keep a steady up-tempo from here until the fourth track, “Still Hurts”, which is a slower groove with more beat and less melody. You could say that this is when Macy is at her best, when her voice takes center stage. However the auto-tune on this track is almost enough to make my blood boil. I don’t care how popular it is, you do not auto tune Macy Gray. You just don’t do that sort of thing. Because it’s stupid.

Macy’s love songs are great, simply because they break form from the traditional. This is most evident in the song “Stalker”, where she details how she is “your submissive best friend bitch, and that’s fine.” It’s almost disturbingly human and it’s something that is seriously lacking in most pop music out there.

It’s hard to say anything bad about a disc that is this happy and hard to resist. Part of Grays charm is that she makes pop music that still retains feeling and realness. Sometimes the lazer like digital sounds get out of hand, and the songs “On and On” and “That Man” could be taken or left behind. But on the whole there is nothing glaringly wrong here aside from the fact that it is mainstream pop, which will always be tough for me and many others to accept with artists like Gray who make perfect candidates for underground legends. With LeBron leaving Ohio, someone born here probably couldn't have picked a worse (or better possibly) time to name an album The Sellout, but Gray means it in a wholly different manner, and it only makes her more lovable.