Like Erykah Badu's kooky big sis, Macy Gray has been balancing freakiness and mainstream shine since 1999. Despite the title, her new album is a softer sell — and more appealing — than 2007's Will.i.am-assisted Big. "Beauty in the World" is viral, hand-clap-powered gospel folk; there's a surprisingly fun Velvet Revolver collab, and a Bobby Brown duet nearly as good as her classic jam with Ol' Dirty. Fact is, with her sexy oddball rasp, she generates more heat selling out than gettin' freaky. And we love freaks.
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