How Life Isn’t Anymore

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Macy Gray
The Id
Epic
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Without comparable drama, the rest of The Id suffers from the conundrum of all post-breakout second albums. You're disappointed either because the songs are not enough like the first one or because they're too much like the first but not quite as good. Although The Id is named for the mental engine of subconscious drives, its spontaneity seems a bit forced. "Don't Come Around" is a soul kiss-off in the Millie Jackson monologue mode, sung in tandem with "Heard It All Before" queen Sunshine Anderson, whose career is managed by Gray. "Sexual Revolution," The Id's update of "Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak," has mad disco energy in its horns and strings and rhythm guitar pluckin', but declaring your unconventional habits from atop such well-trod riffs deflates the sentiment almost completely. When even Lenny Kravitz has strip-mined your muse, it might be time to do some prospecting. The chances for The Id to find a place in a national consciousness completely wrapped up in its superego don't look good. But there probably won't be too many big breakthroughs in the next couple of months anyway—unless there's something out there as fresh as Meet the Beatles.

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