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Stripped

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Album Review

Recorded for Chesky as part of the label's Binaural+ series, this session, Macy Gray's ninth proper studio album, was caught by a single microphone in a Brooklyn church. Backed by a quartet featuring trumpeter Wallace Roney, drummer Ari Hoenig, bassist Daryl Johns, and guitarist Russell Malone, it's a natural direction for Gray, as she started in jazz bands, putting her unique spin on classics, and has cited jazz vocalists as influences throughout her career. Apart from two originals and as many covers, Gray revisits her own work. "I Try" and "Slowly" are transformed into quiet rumbles, while "Sweet Baby" gets a Bo Diddley beat makeover. She even goes back to Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters," guided by Johns' bass, which alternates between a stutter and a strut. Bob Marley's "Redemption Song," which Gray has been performing since Hurricane Katrina (if not earlier), gets a solemn, lullaby-like reading. The finishing touch, the lone song Gray and the band wrote together, is a lovely ballad that showcases Roney and, well, the singer's suggestive wordplay. All of this is best heard in a late-night setting. The volume of Gray's rasping voice rarely breaks above the level of an intimate conversation — at times, she sounds a bit off in the distance — and the group plays as if it's trying not to disturb a dozing parishioner. For all its emphasis on the past, Stripped sounds like a step forward.

Customer Reviews

Stripped

Unbelievable - Macy Gray's album is soulful and sweet. You hear how she and the band are enjoying to play the songs. She did it again!

Eargasmic!

This album is an instant classic! Absolutely luxuriating to listen to... not to compare them, but it's very reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies' Trinity Sessions.

Pure heart and soul!

These pieces are classic Macy but taken to a deeper intimate level . The band is extraordinarily old school unapologetically jazzy .
I'm excited to see a live performance of this beautiful piece of music- The Howard Theatre , Blues Alley or a swanky jazz joint in New Orleans !
I hope Macy wins a Grammy for this one if not she has one unofficially in my eyes !!

Biography

Born: September 6, 1967 in Canton, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Macy Gray parlayed an utterly unique voice and an outlandish sense of style into pop stardom at the turn of the millennium, appealing to audiences of all colors in search of a fresh alternative to mainstream R&B. After an accidental entry into the music industry, she reached the mainstream in grand style with a Top Ten pop hit, platinum certifications, and several Grammy nominations. Although her pop success dried up, she built a sizeable and unpredictable discography for a series of major and independent...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Macy Gray

Stripped, Macy Gray
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