Saturday, April 07, 2007

Record Review: Amy Winehouse

I guess Jazz isn't dead after all, and I'm not talking about that guy who hangs around the open mic night with the soul patch and stupid hat either. Amy Winehouse had got it all when it comes to being a Jazz Singer. She's a Jewish Brit, which can be tough and even though she's only 24 she's already struggled with deamons and told she needed to go to rehab. "They tried to make go to rehab but I said 'no, n0, no'" is the first line of the first song on Back to Black, Winehouse's second record. The song, "Rehab", is a straight forward admisson that she has a problem, and dispite many imarrasing incidents in public while drunk, she doesn't plan to change that. She once heckled Bono when he was reciving an award; I guess she's the black sheep of the Jazz world.

Dispite all her personal problems, which also include reported eating disorders, this record is amazing. Maybe it is so great because Winehouse is a tortured soul, like so many other Jazz singers before her. I can't get over her voice, which has the same kind of sound to personal apperance mismatch of your average Zoo Crew Morning DJ. Listening to Winehouse sing you conjure up visions of a 285 pound Black woman, but when you see her you wonder where all that power comes from. The music and compisition on this record are top notch, but I just can't get past the vocals which are quite simply amazing.
All this is not to say that Winehouse is just immitating the Jazz that was played in the 30's and 40's, because she has very much her own style. Her subject matter is very 21st century and her style is all at once fresh and base. In the song "Me and Mr. Jones" she uses a word that has now become part of my vernacular to ask what is amis with a situation. "What kind of fuckery is this? You made me miss the Slick Rick gig." Fuckery! Great word.

The best song on the record is "You Know I'm No Good" which has a great sound to it. Even though it is very eclectic it also sounds like a breath of fresh air in a world where everything comes off as fake. I also really enjoy "Some Unholy War" and "Love is a Losing Game" which really show off the range of tallents she has as both a writer and vocalist. You must buy this record, or else, turn in your cool card to: I'm A big Loser Who Doesn't Get It Inc. PO Box 11286 New York, NY 10081.

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