I guess Macy Gray is releasing an album of covers. Today on the indie radio station I was blessed enough to listen to Macy’s cover of “Maps” and… it was pretty bad. It’s not TERRIBLE, but when you take a song as truly magnificent and emotional as “Maps”, you can’t just simply put some garageband beat to it and distort the voice. That’s not a cover, that’s a cover up.
Nice try, Macy Gray. You can preview it over at Amazon. She covers Radiohead, Kanye, Arcade Fire and some others that I can’t recall just from the title of the song. But what I hear from the 10 second previews is that it does not look good. Weird conceptual takes on awesome songs that now just sound wrong, like the spirit of the songs has been sucked out and replaced with simple beats.
I could pretty much only hear this album being played in mall hair salons, where all the young girls have really shitty haircuts and who have never heard of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Macy Gray has a really unique, interesting voice. But I’ve always felt that after her one really big hit song, “I Try,” that she’s never really found her niche genre or even her calling in music. It’s unsettling as a listener to not know what kind of direction or genre she’s shooting for because it’s really not apparent in her work. She’d be a great residency artist, like in a piano bar or something. But in terms of releasing CDs, I just don’t really know why or how somebody keeps paying for her albums to keep getting made.
Maybe there’s a huge Macy Gray market somewhere outside of Ohio and in some country like Turkey. Or maybe somebody got sign happy in the early 00’s and gave her like a 7 CD deal. Odd.