Gray, Macy / On How Life is
Artist Gray, Macy
Title On How Life is
Format CD
Released 1999
Label Epic
1. Why Didn't You Call Me (3:12)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Jeremy Ruzumna)
2. Do Something (4:59)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Patrick Brown/Raymon Murray/Rico Wade)
3. Caligula (4:38)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Darryl Swann/Jeremy Ruzumna)
4. I Try (3:59)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/David Wilder/Jeremy Ruzumna/Jinsoo Lim)
5. Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak (3:57)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Dion Derek Murdock/Jeremy Ruzumna)
6. I Can't Wait to Meetchu (5:19)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Darryl Swann/Jeremy Ruzumna/Miles Tackett)
7. Still (4:15)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Jeremy Ruzumna)
8. I've Committed Murder (5:00)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Carl Sigman/Darryl Swann/Eddie Harris/Francis Lai/Jeremy Ruzumna/Kiilu Beckwith)
9. A Moment to Myself (4:01)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Damon Yu Wimbley/Jeremy Ruzumna/Mark Morales/Miles Tackett)
10. The Letter (5:37)
(Bill Esses/Macy Gray/Jamie Houston/Matt Sherrod)
Notes Personnel includes:
       Macy Gray (vocals)
       Jon Brion (guitar, piano, Chamberlain,
               synthesizer, vibraphone, bells)
       Darryl Swann (guitar, programming,
                background vocals)
       Jinsoo Lim (guitar)
       Arrik Marshall (guitar)
       Bendrix Williams (guitar)
       Blackbird McKnight (guitar)
       Gabriel Moses (guitar)
       Miles Tackett (guitar)
       Ngozi "Guz" Inyama (saxophone)
       Jeremy Ruzumna (piano, organ, Clavinet,
               Farfisa organ, Moog synthesizer,
               background vocals)
       Patrick Warren (Chamberlain, synthesizer,
       David Wilder (bass, background vocals)
       Dion Derek Murdock (bass)
       Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion)
       Lenny Castro (percussion)
       Kiilu Beckwith (programming)
       DJ Kiilu (turntable) (background vocals)
       Dawn Beckman (background vocals)
       Musiic Galloway (background vocals)
       Sye Smith (background vocals)
Recorded at:
    Paramount Studios
       Hollywood CA (USA)
    Sunset Sound
       Hollywood CA (USA)
    A&M Studios
       Hollywood CA (USA)

"Do Something" was nominated for the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. "I Try" won the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song was nominated for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year.

It was no mean feat for an R&B singer debuting in 1999 to embody the aesthetics of vintage soul without resorting to retro '70s stylings. On her first album, Macy Gray manages to bring old-school values to a very contemporary sound. One is immediately struck by Gray's unique, sandpapery voice-something of a cross between Erykah Badu and Eartha Kitt. A powerhouse rhythm section ensures that the all-important groove remains the focal point of the arrangements, while production techniques borrowed from '90s DJ culture pop up throughout. Lyrically, Gray moves from the lustiness of the unambiguously titled "Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak" to the film noir scenario of "I've Committed Murder," all the while singing with enough verve and soul to ensure that her unique voice insinuates itself into the listener's heart.