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Covered – Macy Gray
Quirky soulster Macy Gray recorded this, her sixth album (yes, casual fans, she’s been busy since I Try), with veteran producer Hal Wilner over a matter of days.
The mood is loose and live, reflecting the carefree abandon with which Gray tackles these 10 covers. How you respond to the album depends largely on your feelings about Gray’s hoarse, somewhat limited voice.
The song selection is idiosyncratic, with a heavy focus on rock and indie music rather than the expected soul covers (although she does tackle Nina Simone and Kanye West in one great mash-up).
Along the way she leaves her indelible mark on modern classics by Radiohead, Metallica and the Eurythmics, but her coup de grace is transforming the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ fragile ballad Maps into a vital funk-soul stomper.