Holly Gleason Bonnaroo death #vivaroo Bonnaroo 2015 Guy Clark Prada Dada The Zelda Chronicles Zelda pet loss Alex Bevan Emmylou Harris Lee Ann Womack the Wonderspaniel Aerosmith Ali Berlow Bruce Springsteen Dwight Yoakam Eddie Montgomery James Taylor John Oates Kenny Chesney Matraca Berg Patty Loveless Tom Petty Vince Gill Andy Langer Bob Dylan C. Orrico Cleveland country music Dan Baird Dawes disco Donna Summer Earl Scruggs Earth Wind & Fire Ed Helms Jackson Browne Jim James Johnny Cash Lilly Pulitzer Lou Reed Lyle Lovett Michael Stanley Mumford & Sons Music pop music punk Reggie Watts Rita Houston Rodney Crowell Ronnie Dunn Sam Bush Sherman Halsey Steve Popovich Tim McGraw Townes Van Zandt untimely death WFUV Willie Nelson " supermoderls " THE LITTLE PRINCE "Faith "The Voice 27 Club 9/11 addiction Akron Allen Brown Allison Krauss Allman Brothers Almost Famous Americana Amy Winehouse Andy Parker Ann Upchurch Anna Nicole Smith Antoine de Saint-Exupery Ashley Capps Atlanta Rhythm Section Authenticity Bangles Barbara Bush Beatles BeeGees Belle & Sebastian Big K.R.I.T. Bill Bentley Bill Johnson Billy idol Black Prairie bluegrass Bluegrass Situation Bob Seger Brenwtood Vets Britney Spears Buddy & Julie Miller Cameron Crowe Carnival Music Cat Powers Catherine Deneuve CBGBs Celebrity Culture Charlie Sexton Chris Mad Dog Russo Chris Stapleton Chris Whitley Christopher Hanna Cindy Crawford Clash Clive Davis CMA Awards CMA Duo of the Year Cobain cowpunk Cultural Icons Cyrinda Fox Dan Einstein Dan Fogelberg Dan Tyminski D'Angelo Danny Joe Brown Danny Morrison David Bowie David Byrne David Gleason Dazz Band death of a pet Del McCoury Del McCoury Band Delaney & Bonnie Dennis Kucinich Dick Clark Dignity Dolly Parton Doobies Doug Dillard driving Dylan Elegy Elle King Elton John EMI Music Eric Clapton ESQUIRE facing the inevitable Fame Whores father fathers & daughters Feank Yankovic Fellini feminism festival film Flatt + Scruggs Foals Forest Hills Stadium Frank Sinatra Funk Brothers Garth Brooks Gary Stewart Gary W Clark Gary Wells George Bush George Harrison George Jones George Michael George Strait Gerald LeVert Gil Scott-Heron Glenn O'Brien golf Grammy Awards Grammy mourning grief Guitar Town Guster heartbreak heartland hippies HITS Hot Chelle Rae Hozier I Will Always Love You iconic death integrity Jack Johnson Jackie Kennedy James Brown janet jackson Jason Aldean Jason Isbell Jeff Bates Jeff Hanna Jewly Hight Jim Halsey Jimmy Jam Jimmy Webb Joan Didion Joe Diffie Joe Ely John Bassette John Fullbright John Hiatt John Hobbs John Leland John Prine Joni Mitchell Joplin Joyce Reingold Kacey Musgraves Keith Knudsen Ken Weinstein Kentucky Headhunters killing spree KKen Weinstein Las Vegas Leon Russell Leonard Cohen Levon Helm Life Little Feat loss Lowell George Madonna Marlene Dietrich Marshall Chapman Mary Chapin Carpenter Matt and Kim Meatloaf Merle Haggard Midway Midwest Montgomery Gentry moonshiners Morrison mourning MTV music festivals Music Row My Friend Bob My Morning Jacket Naomi Campbell Nas Nathan Bell Nei Young nihilism in pop music Nile Rodgers Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Oct. 1 Of Monsters and Men old huard Nashville Palm Beach Parliament Funkedelic passion Patsi Bale Cox Patsi Cox Patti Davis Paul McCartney Paul William Phil Walden Philip Bailey places polka pop culture Preservation Hall Jazz Band press conferences Prince Princess Diana Purple Rain Radnor Lake Ramones Ray Price Rayland Baxter Reeves Gabrels Retirement Rhiannon Giddens Richard Corliss Richard Gehr Richard Pryor Robin Gibb Rock & Soul Superjam Rust Belt Ryan Miller Sarah Godinez scenes Scooter Caruso sex Shiela E smells Solange Knowles songs songwriiter songwriter spoiled rock stars Springsteen Steve Earle Steven Tyler Stevie Nicks Stevie Ray Vaughn Stevie Wonder stinky goodness Sturgill Simpson Sue Whiting Tammy Wynette Tammy Wynnette Tangiers Tattoos & Scars Tears for Fears Terry Lewis THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN The Bluegrass Situation The Bodyguard The Dreaming Fields the Hermit Club the Kentucky Headhunters the Players the Shaker Heights Country Club the things that matter the wonder spaniel thoughts Tim Hensley TIME Magazine Tin Machine tragedy Trixie Whitley Troy Gentry University of Miami Valerie Carter Verdine White Village Voice Waffle House Walker Cup Waylon Jennings Wendy Pearl WHAM! Whitney Houston Whitney Houston death Wilco Women's Western Golf Association Wonderspaniel Wu Tang Clan WVUM Ziggy Stardust

the id, Macy Gray

Is Macy Gray -- of the helium voice, chocolate mushroom cloud hair and body evoking Michelin's tireman -- a freak or a freak? Is her art about a severe need for a Prozac-heavy cocktail of MAO-inhibitors? (see the wildly percolating "You're Relating To A Psychopath") Or is it more about dropping one's inhibitions and getting as down in it as anyone since Prince Rogers Nelson grappled with libido, fellatio and whatever else kinked his carnality? (see above)

With the id, who knows? Gray, who stunned with loose grooved funk and open-truthed manifestos about sexual reality, arrived smearing the lines, pushing the how-it-is of male/female politics and just plain getting bizzy. But is the groove she strikes of the Teddy Pendergrass/Barry White tenor? Or more a self-conscious flashpoint designed to draw in with prurience rather than George Clinton's flex and release, cum and go with a cigarette in one's mouth and an exhale of utter spent-sion on one's lips?

Certainly both the psychological and the sexual are here -- and the beats mined are as close to Sly Stone as anyone's gotten since the Family truly defied held constraints of their time and place. Churlish, undulating, Gray's unafraid of boogie oogie oogie disco froth on "Sexual Revolution," just as she's more than happy curling up in a wave of hormones that marks the Angie Stone/Mos Def guesting "Nutmeg Phantasy" that is so fine, slam me against a wall and pick up whatever's left to do it again.

But to go straight to the g-spot -- pick your groove, they're all applicable in this case -- Gray seeks to melt the want-to with the bereavement of abandonment, the get-a-clue-boy and the roughness that is implicity in this world. If Marvin Gaye preached a gospel of sexual healing and let's-get-it-on, he also understood sublimating desire (we can't bone ALL the time) to put that tension towards something better.

Joined by Slick Rick for "Hey Young World, Part 2," it's meant as street reporting and a little throwdown of the how-it-should-be. The track cooks, but how serious can a mother who left the kids in Dayton and appears obviously stoned, making less than no-sense on awards shows be taken?

Maybe we should up the MAO Inhibitor score.

Yet Gray, who may not be the world's strongest role model, knows how to get the ladies in lockstep -- or rather lockgrind undulating through "Harry," a song where the stallion in service is good for one thing only, and then truly needs to git on his way. As the horns roll out trills of punctuation, this is Macy Gray on the way sex and climax is for sisters who truly are doing it for themselves. Feeling cheap young man? Well, take what you get and be grateful, because this WO-man has no illusions about needing more than what's between your legs in a turnabout that gives Harry pause for consideration.

No doubt she's about hitting then quitting from the hurt of being the one that ain't connecting on "Don't Come Around," the sultry slow freak featuring Gray protégé Sunshine Anderson. Some guy wants to move on and be friends, but our lady of the cosmic bullride ain't havin' it. Pain isn't nothing she's prolonging -- so if you gotta go, to borrow from Dylan, go now. But don't look back and don't remind her what was. Languorous, it steams in that way of low, deep bends and the burlesque roll of the hips around that pole one final time.
If the id balances mostly between imperfect ends and couplings hot enough to melt diamonds, Gray hits a high on the hushed "Sweet Baby" featuring nu soul's mother earth Erykah Badu. With a descending melody, this is the one moment of equanimity …of separate and equal and committed. No tug, no pull, no need, no want -- just settled and settling and fine.

Sure, Gray is about the loud and the funky. "Oblivion" channels the Family Stone and "Blowin' Up Your Speakers" is anarchy under a groove; it feels good and may be enough.
But to dig deep, to connect in a way that sticks, it's the stuff that provokes the mind more than the hips where Gray finds her mettle. That's something to consider more than the initial feel good, oughta should of immediate gratification.

Grade: B

-- Holly Gleason

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.
Member Account Required
You must have a member account on this website in order to post comments. Log in to your account to enable posting.