Epic – 2001 – 52 minutes

Despite extra-curricular activities with the likes of Fatboy Slim, Common and Gang Starr rapper Guru, Macy Gray's follow-up to the seven million selling 'On How Life Is' finds the singer preaching (or screeching) to the converted. No bad thing given the retro class which 'On How…' exuded, but the fact that many of the songs here seem identikits of their predecessors suggests the 'The Id' is more a holding album than an attempt to up the ante.

The ballad 'Sweet Baby' reheats the romance from the likes of 'I Try', ' Give Me All Your Lovin'…' owes a lot to 'Why Why Didn't You Call Me' while 'Harry' goes so far as to re-use Gray's throwaway but classic "that's good enough for now" remark from her debut.

The album's finest moments come when Gray looks beyond the platinum discs on her wall: 'Sexual Revolution' would conquer any dancefloor with its Eastern-tinged disco, 'The World is Yours' merges hip-hop sensibilities and a rascally chorus (a la Jay Z's 'Hard Knock Life') while 'Oblivion' sounds like Gray's invited Abba and the cast of 'Oliver' round to her house after the bars close.

Fans will lap up 'The Id', everyone else will swear they heard it two years before its release date.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: Relating to a Psychopath – Boo – Sexual Revolution – Hey Young World II – Sweet Baby – Harry – Give Me All Your Lovin' or I Will Kill You – Don't Come Around – My Nutmeg Phantasy – Freak Like Me – Oblivion – Forgiveness – Blowin' Up Your Speakers