The Trouble With Being Myself

The trouble with Gray's third album is that it has arrived without much fanfare.

The trouble with Gray's third album is that it has arrived without much fanfare. This is unfortunate, particularly because it is a much better album than its predecessor, "The Id," which had a lot to live up to, arriving on the heels of the artist's Grammy Award-nominated debut, "On How Life Is." This time around, Gray—she of the unmistakable voice—has created her own lil' house party, with guests like producer Dallas Austin, singer Beck and DJ Mark Ronson, among others, joining in the festivities. "The Trouble With Being Myself" is equal parts Dusty Springfield soul and "Raspberry Beret"-era Prince funk. Opening track "When I See You," "She Don't Write Songs About You" and "Come Together" are positively jubilant in both music and lyric. Lyrically twisted yet clever tracks like "My Fondest Childhood Memories," "Happiness" and "Screamin' " could have only been penned by Gray. As for "Jesus for a Day" and "She Ain't Right for You," color them gorgeous.—MP