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September 7, 2014 / thackersam

September 7 – Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Amy WI found Amy Winehouse to be most irksome in life, her life, and now that she is gone I kind of like her. Doesn’t sound very nice of me, does it? In my defense, what I knew about her was the bad example she set – deliberately, with her in your face – what are you going to do about it attitude. Now that she can no longer set that bad example, you hope that people who thought her lifestyle was cool would think – yeah, she did what she wanted, but whoa – she croaked (I’m just saying what they would say), and view that as a bit of a turn-off. So, at least for me, her music which lived in the shadow of her drug and alcohol-ridden jerk persona, rises like cream to the top. And it is really very good music. I even like “Rehab,” a lot. In fact, I have nothing but raves for this CD, another Housing Works find, and have been listening and exercising to it for the past few days.

Where do I begin? Each song is like an homage to a myriad of sounds. Motown, 60s English Beat, Lesley Gore, R&B, Billie Holliday, Bette Midler. If I keep listening, I’ll come up with more. But it’s a shame, cause she obviously loved music and soaked it all in, coming up with her own uniqueness in voice, style and look. I am taking it in with fascination at what she could do. Let me say that I absolutely adore the old Billy Paul song “Me and Mrs. Jones,” and thought that her “Me & Mr. Jones” would be her version of it. And I was curious. But no, it is her own completely different song, and a good one, yet you can tell she too was a fan of “Mrs. Jones.”

The thing is, and this smacks of irony, at least a little, the CD is short. The whole thing is 35 minutes. And I’ve noticed that the songs are also short. I kind of wish that she had just one long one – a longer version of “You Know I’m No Good” or “Me & Mr. Jones” (“Rehab” needs not be any longer). But they leave their mark. As her short life did. And I enjoy her now. Her music is great, and I can appreciate her style, even the whole persona. She was odd, and I like odd (I would tell you to ask my friends, but they may get insulted). She even did the odd look well. I now think she did a lot of things well, very well indeed, except what got her the most attention. Unless she really wanted to join the 27 club in immortality.

 

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