Sorry, We're Closed

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Amy Amy Amy

I'll admit I was skeptical when Amy Winehouse emerged as a ferociously popular singer. Her too-skinny drugged-out persona pissed me off, and I didn't get the point of "Rehab" the first couple of times I heard it.

Thanks to my pal Phillip, I began to listen a little more closely to her second album, Back to Black, and soon realized that this was a singer and songwriter of no little depth and intensity. The girl-group charm of the sorrowful title song, the heartbreaking adultery narrative "Just Friends," and the skank of "You Know I'm No Good" are absolutely riveting.

Here's a bonus track from a special CD edition of the album. It's her acoustic demo of "Love is a Losing Game." While the LP cut is terrif, it's this spare version that pierces my heart.

I'm still not comfortable with the idea of my dollars helping fuel her self-destructive habits, but art and artists have ever been thus so. My fingers are crossed that she can keep herself together and find happiness...or at least keep sharing her gift.


Anonymous Amy said...

STU!! dammit.. dude.. wasn't it ME who told you about Amy Winehouse something like.. oh.. a year ago? :)

When I first heard "Rehab" on a local uber-mix radio station (the "we play anything" market) - I thought it was some forgotten girl group track from the 60's. The production was almost straight out of the Spector playbook. I did a bit of digging and discovered "Back to Black".

This girl has to be a reincarnated Billie Holiday, or Janis Joplin. Her karmic baggage is heavy, and she's far too young to be so damaged - the raw beauty of her voice is undeniable.

If you want a sharp contrast to her "before drugs" and after.. go to YouTube and search for her video to "F*** Me Pumps" off her first cd called "Frank". The performance is almost joyful - and you just want to hug her and squeeze her and invite her out for a curry.

From "Back to Black" - I love the catchy vocal she does on "Tear Dry On Their Own" layered on top of the original backing track to "Aint No Mountain" - the Marvin & Tammy classic.

Getting back to "Love is a Losing Game" - this song (in my mind) is almost strong enough to stand close to Aretha Franklin's "Aint No Way".

Chills and butterfllies an everythang...

As I've said in many a blog across the webverse - I really wish that someone could reach this tragic girl and convince her of the great gift she has, what potential she has, and unless she can get a grip on her demons she will be dead by 30.

You really do need to get out more, Stu :-)


- Amy in Boston (the other white soul girl)

p.s. Happy Christmas, Joyous Yule, and a peaceful New Year to you and Ceci

10:18 AM, December 09, 2008


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