Raspy voiced Macy Gray, the once and future queen of R&B, funk, and rock as crowned in 1999 with her debut album “On How Life Is”, has returned to the studio to record her fourth album Big. The album offers the caffeine jolt equivalent of a cuppa Starbuck's latte – grande, of course.

Big offers a mellowed-out Gray, her eccentric lyrics and beats filtered through the chill genius of producer Will.I.Am of the Black Eye Peas, who reigns over the entire album. Gray and producer strip back Big to soulful lyrics and cool tracks – with the occasional interruption of crazy Gray lyrics and an electric guitar; the resulting effect is an album set to win over legions of new fans.

Gray performs "Ghetto Love" live

Guest appearances abound on Big. Gray is paired with Natalie Cole for the opener “Finally Made Me Happy”, Nas on “Ghetto Love”, and Fergie, who coos sweetly in the background of “Glad You're Here”. Justin Timberlake lends a hand with drums, keys, and backup vocals on “Okay”.

Sweet tracks include “Finally Made Me Happy” where Gray's lyrics cleverly throw a curve as she sings, “You finally made me happy...when you walked out that door.” “Ghetto Love” will make your booty shake. Gray offers another take on murder as she has done since her debut album on “Strange Behavior”, where she offers, “We were happily married, until he waved a gun at me.” Yet, it's her collaboration with Will.I.Am, “Treat Me Like Your Money”, where the lyric hijinks reach new highs.