Thursday, February 01, 2007

You Know I'm No Good

You Know I'm No Good
An early candidate for the end-of-year best-of-list is Amy Winehouse's Back To Black. Out in the UK since October, it's on the slate for a US release on March 13. I must admit that the bloggers/music press have had much love for Amy, and that I have largely ignored the hype. That is until a few weeks ago when I "obtained" a copy of it. Hooray! I absolutely love this record. I have been listening to my bootlegged copy of it it just about every day now for like the last three weeks.
This is the second album from the 24 year old Brit, the follow up to her 2003 debut Frank. (I have never heard that record but I will be looking to get a copy of it ASAP.) She has a reputation as a serious party girl who likes her drink, and her lyrics reflect that a lot - hello! the first single is called Rehab! By all accounts her debut was more of a jazzy affair. This new album has jazzy elements, but is much more rooted in the classic soul and girl group sounds of the '60s - the Supremes, Phil Spector's roster. What is amazing to me is her voice - sultry, smoky and old way beyond her years. You look at the picture above and you'd never think that voice was coming from that diminutive British white girl. She reminds me a lot Lauryn Hill actually, with a voice that is a little bit raspy. The songs are sweet, sad and funny, full of profanity and debauchery use. She cites Busta Rhymes as an influence alongside Sarah Vaughan. It's really quite jarring at first to hear these gangsta lyrics sung by that voice over these classically old school style songs. I find it incredibly addicting. And so does everybody else it would seem. I play this at my work for a crowd with diverse tastes, and most people are really digging it. I hope her record company can do a good job of promoting this album to US audiences, because she deserves the success.


Listen to more Amy Winehouse on The Hype Machine.

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