Friday, March 14, 2008

CD Review: Back to Black - Any Winehouse

Having listened to British soul singer Amy Winehouse's 2006 CD, I have to say that it isn't the unpleasant experience that I expected it to be... not at all.

Simply, the troubled Ms. Winehouse has talent. The songs are all done in the bluesy, early soul style that is very retro... reminiscent of the late 50's or the early 60's.

Just about every track is catchy and interesting to listen to, and the musicianship is great and Winehouse's vocal style is enjoyable.

There are tracks that you'll want to sing along with or even have a nice slow dance with someone that you are fond of.

Winehouse has fairly solid writing credentials as well. She wrote or co-wrote every track on the CD.

One song in particular stands out, and I'm not talking about Rehab, which is catchy, but not that special. No, I'm talking about track number seven, Tears Dry on Their Own. This song was written with Nick Ashford & Valerie Simpson of Motown fame. This song samples a couple of musical phrases from "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"... I really like it.

OK, enough love and kisses... even though the hooks are good, I have a bricks to throw, and here they are: Several of the songs have sex and drug references that I could do without. Yours truly is no prude, but, I suspect some of these lyrics were done just for shock value. I suppose one saving grace is that you either have to listen very closely to hear many of them, or read the lyrics to see them.

Amy Winehouse has talent, sure enough, and like so many talented people, she seems hell-bent of self-destruction. I hope she lives long enough to do another CD... I would like to see what she does next.