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Thursday, April 26
· Maggie Sayles Releases Debut Trust
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Older Articles

Amy Winehouse: Back To Black

Genre: Soul, R&B Indie Pop
Label: Universal Republic

Picture yourself in a smoky bar, sipping a gin martini, while attempting to get a good look at the vocalist on the tiny stage through the cigarette haze. That is where Amy Winehouse will take you on her second release, Back To Black. With an Etta James like voice that will knock you flat, and a directness that will make some blush, Amy gives you every piece of her. Focusing on her true life experiences, the London singer/songwriter brings you in to her world of love lost, and alcohol drowned moments. With a precocious blend of 60's soul, classic Jazz, and danceable beats, Winehouse delivers a collection of modern day Motown.

The first song and single, "Rehab" hits you hard from the start. "They tried to make me go to rehab/I said no, no, no..." sets a tone for the entire CD. With a blend of horns, strings and steady drums, Winehouse creates an almost uplifting tone. The sound seems almost Gospel like in its delivery. Defiant to the end, Winehouse states her case that all is fine, she has things totally under control. By the end of the song, one can't argue.

The second track is a true standout. "You Know I'm No Good" shows just how sassy Winehouse can get, all with a soulful delivery that could easily be heard in any Motown collection. With lines like, "I cheated myself like I knew I would," she has no issues with presenting herself in the most honest of lights. With a simple bass and drums intro, the song then takes off with the catchiest of melodies. Excellent horn work on this track with baritone sax, and an almost hip-hop sounding horn interlude before the third verse and to end the song.

"Me & Mr. Jones" pays an homage to the sixties girl groups, such as the Supremes, and the Ronnettes. Complete with echoing harmonies and vocal intro, Winehouse pours everything into each word and note. Not shying away with saying, "What kind of fuckery is this?" to show her displeasure at missing a gig, Winehouse lets her man know exactly how she feels. With the playful melody and backing music, the delivery comes off as nostalgic and not harsh.

With "Love Is A Losing Game," Winehouse shows what a softer side can be. Jazzy guitar is prominent in the beginning of the song, with strings and piano adding to the mix by the second verse. Her voice pains over futile attempts to find that elusive lasting love. Vocally, this track shows off her depth and control.

The title track starts with a simple piano and drum pattern, that leads to Winehouse singing "He left no time to regret/Kept His Dick Wet..." Singing about saying goodbye to a love, only to see them go to someone else, leaving her to go nowhere, Winehouse creates the most emotionally charged track on the CD. When the chorus hits, strings add to the soaring melody, giving it an even darker tone.

With a brutal honesty, and a commanding voice, Amy Winehouse delivers a very dynamic album with Back To Black. When you hear her voice, whether you instantly like it or not, you cannot ignore its raw emotion and tone. Winehouse will take you down paths you may not want to go, and places you may not want to see. But, that is who she is. We are just here for the ride. So, sit back, light another smoke and order a double; the second set is about to start.

Added: April 3rd 2007
Reviewer: Sean Wolcott
Related Link: Visit Amy Winehouse Online
Hits: 2793
Language: english


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