Macy Gray's steps to a higher level on The Id – this is no "sophomore slump" to our ears – actually a helluva lot better than her big selling debut! As on her first set, Macy's vocals are wonderful – totally unique, with that warm raspy soulful style that makes her one of the most instantly recognizable soul artists since Al Green. The production is very strong too – with a sound that's new and fresh compared to most chart soul acts, but which also has its roots in the Columbia crossover sound of the late 60s, with traces of artists like Sly Stone and Janis Joplin all colliding into one cool groovy sound! Titles include "Hey Young World (part 2)", featuring Slick Rick, plus "Blowin Up Your Speakers", "Forgiveness", "My Nutmeg Phantasy" (featuring Angie Stone & Mos Def), "Sweet Baby" (featuring Erykah Badu), "Sexual Revolution", and "Relating To A Psychopath". CD
(Out of print. Barcode has a cutout hole.)
John Legend & The Roots —
Wake Up ... CD GOOD/Columbia, 2010. Used ...
John Legend shakes loose of the contemporary pop soul style of his previous couple of records with a comparatively raw and direct soul vibe – revisiting some of best socially aware, emotionally resonant and still relevant songs of the 60s & 70s! The best tracks on the set are the ones that have the rawest, most live sounding groove – and there's plenty of that, as he's backed by The Roots. There's no denying John Legend's truthful love of this material, and he sings with genuine depth. They wisely choose numbers with lyrics that stand true to this day, a few of which feature fresh rhymes by guest MCs that further bridge the eras. The track selection is excellent – covering classics by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Bill Withers, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway and they also go as deep as Baby Huey & Eugene McDaniels. Includes "Hard Times" with Black Thought, "Compared To What", "Wake Up Everybody" with Common & Melanie Fiona, "Our Generation" feat CL Smooth, "Little Ghetto Boy" feat Black Thought (plus the prelude with Malik Yusef), "Hang On In There", "Wholy Holy", "Shine" and more. CD