Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Best Music You've Never Heard: The Late Amy Winehouse

I was all set to grind through a 1000 word discourse on the genius, talent, and self-destructive nature of the late Amy Winehouse.

There’s so much to cover: her gritty, earthy, doesn’t-match-her-body voice (reminds me of Tina Turner); the inspiration for the “screw-you” nature of Frank and the depression of Back to Black; her recent attempts at a comeback.

But then I came across two quotes from Ms. Winehouse:
“If I haven’t done it, I just can’t put it into a song. It has to be autobiographical.” (1)
"Sorry, I'm really s---ty at interviews. I'm not great at talking about...I just think...the songs are enough." (2)

And that, dear readers, is good enough for me. Amy thought that her songs spoke for themselves… so I’ll simply share a few nuggets about some songs you may not be familiar with, and let Amy speak for herself.

"In My Bed" - The best track off Frank; less jazzy that the other tracks. It’s bold and serves as a statement song for the album (and her state of mind at the time).

"Brother" - This is the second song in the three-part “Outro” on Frank. I don’t know if this is really about her brother, or a deeper self-evaluation of her own demons.

"Just Friends" - This reggae/ska (with tinges of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”) ditty from Back to Black is both playful and remorseful. It’s my favorite Amy Winehouse track.

"Love Is a Losing Game" - There’s a famous youtube clip where she breaks down in tears while singing the song (a la Frank Sinatra on “When Your Lover Has Gone”). The highlight of Back to Black; in fact, I consider it her magnum opus.

R.I.P. Amy

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