Catapulted to international fame with the release of her song ‘I Try’ in 1999 as part of her debut album, ‘On How Life Is’, Macy Gray returns with her new album, ‘Stripped’ following the path to audiophile recording with Chesky Records.
The album provides a raw and intimate experience of alive recording in a Brooklyn church and includes a variety of new songs, covers and renditions of other iconic artist songs such as Metalica’s, ‘Nothing else Matters’ and Bob Marley’s, ‘Redemption Song’.
With many notable songs throughout the album, they will be sure not to disappoint fans that have been eager to hear more from the artist since her last release in 2014. New song, ‘Annabelle’, expresses the difficulty of giving up a habit; whether it’s an ex-lover, alcohol or drugs, it is a vastly relatable track. Being aware of Macy’s history of drugs, it is likely she is conveying her own struggle adding to the personal touch of the album.
Understandably, her new label Chesky Records were non-negotiable in including, ‘I Try’ on the album, and even though the cover doesn’t match the same passion and emotional response as the original, she does a good job of giving a soulful and exquisite performance of the instrumental jazz version.
Elements of soul are something that is found throughout ‘Stripped’; even if its jazz style veers away from her previous albums. Macy Gray and her unique raspy voice fit naturally well into the genre. However there are a few surprises with reggae vibes infused with the instrumental jazz sounds halfway through in, ‘She Ain’t Right For You’.
This is also her first album recorded live using a special binaural microphone; something that is becoming more popular in the industry with the production of more high quality headphones.
In comparison to other binaural albums Chesky Records have released, this one has been produced impressively well. Although, not fully binaural, it’s been staged and directed well to give a more-than-satisfactory depth and immersive sound experience.
Overall, even though the love songs become a bit tiresome, ‘Stripped’ provides a truly intimate experience and is an exquisitely beautiful journey that lays bare Macy Gray’s soul and her love for the music. Fans will certainly be pleased, and ‘Stripped’ will no doubt do well in the charts.
‘Stripped’ is out now via Chesky Records.
This Macy Gray article was written by Giselle Tadman, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Zoe Anderson