Muse Magazine

Thursday, January 25, 2007

SOUNDS: Three reasons why I can’t stop listening to Amy Winehouse

1) Her alcohol and cigarettes-tinged voice is nuanced and richly soulful–- way, way more so than your average white soul singer. Let alone Jewish soul singer from London.

2) Her delivery sounds so, personal. When she rants at her lover for smoking all of her weed and trying to make her go to rehab, you believe she’s telling the truth: a) because she’s a notorious drunk and b) because she has that authentic, self-destructive jazz singer kind of vibe going. Not that we advocate that sort of thing at all. But you know, how we all loved My Life era Mary J. Blige when she was all tormented over K-Ci or JoJo or whomever? Like that. Amy is very Jewish Mary J. Blige/Billie Holiday. Only with a little too much liquid eyeliner.

3) Her embarrassingly honest lyrics. The candor reminds us of Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation.
Case in point: the following passage from the title track from her upcoming album, Back to Black, “You go back to her/And I go back to.../I go back to us/I love you much/It’s not enough/You love blow and I love puff.” Or the lines to Tears Dry On Their Own, “Even if I stop wanting you/A perspective pushes thru/I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon/I shouldn’t play myself again/I should just be my own friend.” And Wake Up Alone, “When I catch myself I do a 180/I stay up clean the house/At least I’m not drinking/Run around just so I don’t have to think about thinking.” It doesn’t sound nearly as depressing as it reads.

She's already Beyonce Knowles-status huge in the UK, but Amy’s album won’t hit stores in the States until March. In the meantime, you can get a preview of it here.


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