Macy Gray to funk up Mezaparks

  • 2004-07-15
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - There is something especially intriguing about the prospect of seeing Macy Gray in concert at the Mezaparks Open-Air Stage in Riga on July 23. Macy and Mezaparks - can you get more different than that?

Macy Gray burst onto the international scene five years ago with her album "On How Life Is." It was a truly great album that effortlessly fused R&B with pop, jazz and hip-hop. She announced at the time in that extraordinary voice of hers that she had come "to save soul music."
Her follow-up album, "The ID," received a more lukewarm reception from critics, even though in many respects it was stronger than her first album. While "On How Life Is" had a couple of irresistible radio-friendly tunes, "The ID" was a much richer and more experimental album.
Macy is now currently on tour performing songs from her latest album "The Trouble With Being Myself." It generally received favorable critical reviews, but once again it seems that most people want her to come up with another hit like "I Try." Why else the constant comparisons?
The real trouble with being Macy Gray is that she seems to be struggling to find the right music to fit that magnificently quirky voice and tortured persona of hers. The woman is clearly funky, and then some, but she has a much keener sense of music than merely dropping big beats throughout her songs.
"The Trouble With Being Myself" is probably her best album to date. Although some of the songs lapse into caricature, there is a freshness and an edge to them that makes her mercifully more raw sounding and I dare say soulful than most of her immaculately preened contemporaries.
Live music brings out the very best in Macy Gray and often does away with the tensions that riddle her studio music. She is simply awesome when she lets her voice off its leash, and when her band really gets going, that's when you see her love of the old soul stalwarts like Sly and the Family Stone really come out.
I remember once seeing Macy Gray performing a live number in a Beatles' tribute concert and she was simply breathtaking. It was that sort of old school, trumpet-straining, bass-bashing, hypnosis-inducing funk that can really work the audience into a frenzy.
Hopefully that's what she'll be bringing to Mezaparks. o

Macy Gray
Mezaparks Open-Air Stage
July 23, entrance from 6 p.m.
Tickets from 13 lats (19 euros), VIP tickets 35 lats - 50 lats
Available from Elkor music stores and