Macy Gray will sing for a mature audience in Lismore
THE WAY is an album that talks about adult themes, and that's just how US singer Macy Gray wanted it.
The album - released in late 2014 - was moulded around the idea that there is little music in today's mainstream for a mature audience.
With songs titled Stones, Bang Bang and I Miss the Sex, the tone of the album is clear even before we play the music.
Then there are songs such as The Way, with lyrics that are not explicit but aimed at an adult audience:
Hey baby, I called to say I gave up that narcotic
but ever since I quit I ain't got much to say
And I found out that loving a man is overrated
Cause she's been nicer to me than you've been all day.
Talking from her home in California, Gray is proud of what her eighth album is about.
"Hopefully the fans like it and embrace it. I can't wait to get to Australia," she said.
Asked about the stories behind some of her songs, she talked about the opening track, Stoned.
"Stoned is about when people are fighting and they can't work things out. Sometimes you just have to have a drink or smoke a joint to let things cool a bit," she said.
The singer is not worried about the album's performance on radio stations.
"I don't know what it's like in Australia but in America there is so much music all over the place now," she said.
Macy Gray last visited Australia in 2012 when she performed songs from her two albums Covered and the Stevie Wonder tribute album Talking Book, both released that year.
"Australia is a big, big place," Gray said. "We always have a lot of fun there.
"Australia was one of the first countries that really embraced my music."
In this Australian tour, besides most capital cities, she is also performing in Newcastle, Port Macquarie and Lismore.
Born Natalie Renee McIntyre in 1967, Macy Gray's music became popular at the turn of the century with her debut multi-platinum album On How Life Is, featuring chart topping hit single, I Try.
Her career includes multiple Grammy award nominations, including a win for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and more than 30 million units sold.
As a single mother of three teenagers and an established career woman in both music and film, Macy Gray is finally ready to share her journey with the world.
"The album is called The Way because everyone has a journey in life and on the way to wherever they want to get to, life happens," she said.
Macy Gray will bring her The Way Tour to the Lismore City Hall on Friday, March 13. Tickets available from the Lismore City Hall website or by calling 1300 066 772.
ALBUM REVIEW: THE WAY
THE WAY is an accomplished album.
It only contains 10 songs and only lasts 40 minutes, but it makes for a fun time.
It may not be as fancy or slick as her previous releases, but it has such honesty on it, that Gray comes accross not only as a singer, but as a storyteller.
And the stories are very interesting.
The album is not explicit, but it talks about issues that should only be for an adult discussion.
Besides that, this album is fun and relaxed in its content.
Blues fans will find the album offers some interesting guest appearances, such as Booker T Jones playing on and co-producing in First Time.
The album offers a wide range of approaches, including romping blues-rock (Bang Bang), disco (Hands), soul (Queen of the Big Hurt), and some variations of southern soul (including Stoned, in which Gray purrs, "I've got the giggles, and baby, I'm loads of fun").
This album's best asset, besides the quirky writing, is Gray's voice, stil the nu-Soul scratchy voice that we don't seem to hear often enough.
The Way offers music for a mature audience, groovy and friendly.