Back To Black, Amy Come Back
I~ ~© Universal Republic // Photo credit: Mishca Richter
've been listening to "Back to Black" by Amy Winehouse for about three days now. I must confess I bought the ‘Clean' version, just a personal preference. It doesn't diminish the music one iota.
"Back to Black" is the first song I heard and the nostalgic "Supremes-style" opening drew me in. I can't get enough.
Amy has trouble with drugs, and perhaps part of the reason is obvious in her music. She feels deeply, especially pain and loss. Her seeking solice from that pain through drugs robs us of her amazing talent and I hope she gets a grip. I think of Janis Joplin and all we might have experienced had she not let drugs drag her from this world much too early. It nearly breaks my heart when Amy sings, "We only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times, you go back to here and I go back to .........black."
After I heard that song, I bought the CD and, even though it's a sad commentary about her life, I love the song ‘Rehab' because of it's style and honesty. It's rare to find music that comes from the depths of ‘soul' these days. I sincerely hope she wins her battles with substance abuse.
"You Know I'm No Good" has a mesmerizing sound and just makes me want to dance. The sax backup is perfect, as are the drums - creating a modern sound with nostalgic fifties bits woven in. "I cheated myself, like I knew I would. I told ya' I was trouble, that I'm no good." followed by the brassy background and ‘calypso' style guitar.
"Wake Up Alone" begins with a simple guitar opening found in many early sixties tunes, but once Amy starts singing it's all about today. The lyrics are intense, yet not self-pitying, and anyone who's experienced intense feelings for someone and ‘wakes up alone' can relate to her and instead of feeling sorry for her, I get a feeling of her strength and tenacity.
"Love is a Loosing Game" is beautiful and haunting, and I can picture her singing on stage with Bessie Smith or Janis J in some alternate universe.
Watching her sing makes me wonder how all of that talent and power comes from such a tiny person. Big hair does not help you belt songs out like she does. Her band and backup singers are extraordinary and a perfect match.
I guess I need not tell you that I love this album and pray that Miss Amy escapes her demons.