Album Review // Macy Gray – Talking Book
Macy Gray – Talking Book
Having spent a considerable amount of time away from the music scene, Macy Gray shirks an album of new tracks in favour of her own interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s timeless album Talking Book. Already this should be enough to set you on edge: surely it’s impossible to do Stevie better than Stevie? Unfortunately this seems to be the case. Gray opens with ‘You Are The Sunshine Of My Life’ and though it’s not a complete massacre, it’s nothing special either: you feel a little like you’ve walked in on someone singing in the shower. Following this, Gray attempts ‘Maybe your Baby’ and the result is not dissimilar from what you’d expect to find on a TLC b-side from the ‘90s. By the time we reach ‘Superstition’ it’s tempting to give up and this does nothing to dissuade. A slow and floaty rendition with a frankly distracting backing xylophone, it loses almost all of the character and soul which made ‘Superstition’ such a timeless classic. However all is not lost, for towards the end of the record tracks like ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Blame It On The Sun’ showcase Macy Gray’s unique voice and remind you that she is a master of soul. ‘I Believe’ is a beautiful harmony-filled conclusion, but does not manage to make up for the overall monotony of the album. Despite being a sincere attempt to pay homage to her idol, this album is less than wonderful.