Macy Gray is set to peform Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book album live
Published: 22 November, 2012
by ROISIN GADELRAB
THERE was a brief time a little over a decade ago when you couldn’t walk the streets without Macy Gray’s distinct tones turning every shopping trip into a giant unavoidable “I Try” singalong, forcing the arms of passers-by to climb to the air, waving slowly from side to side in an inexplicable human manifest of a metronome convention – or that’s how I remember it.
Luckily time has passed and other tunes have since occupied that precious space in our minds, some not even bearing a passing resemblance to bird-like Disney characters vocally.
In the meantime, Macy has been busy. It’s not long since she released a covers album entitled...you guessed it... Covered, featuring interpretations of unlikely choices – My Chemical Romance’s Teenagers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Maps, Kanye West’s Love Lockdown and Arcade Fire’s Wake Up, among others.
Now, the Grammy-winning singer has moved on to one of the all-time classics – covering Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book in its entirety at Koko on December 20. This gig was moved from an earlier date and, while some tickets are already gone, there’s still space for more.
This unique show will feature Macy’s own versions of Superstition, You Are The Sunshine Of My Life as well as the rest of Stevie’s legendary album, which produced seven Top 10 singles. Her recording of Talking Book will be released to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the original.
As well as being a celebration of what Macy cites as one of her most favourite records, the Koko show will also feature some classics from her back-catalogue.
Macy said: “Talking Book is one of my top five favourite albums of all time and Stevie Wonder is my favourite.
“This is my own personal birthday gift to Stevie, for all that I learned from him and for his miraculous songs that change my life every time I hear them. This is not a tribute album or concert; it’s a love letter and a big thank-you card on record and on stage.”
It remains to be seen if this is one of the more accomplished love letters Stevie has likely received during his illustrious career.
And Macy hasn’t done too badly either, with 1999’s hit debut album On How Life Is still not forgotten, having collected Grammys, MTV awards and selling more than 25 million records along the way.
She has also carved out a thriving acting career and collaborated with the likes of John Frusciante, Erykah Badu, Outkast, Mos Def, Black Eyed Peas and Justin Timberlake.