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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Chasing Amy.

Keith Richards may have snorted his dad, but debauched Brit soul gal Amy Winehouse can't be far behind. You've all probably heard of her by now, so I'll spare you the rap sheet. Anyway, I think she's awesome, as do 99.9% of my fellow music critics. Even the most bellicose scribes have been openly singing her praises.

With the exception for Josh Love from the Raleigh News & Observer, that is. His recent Winehouse dis really pissed off Philadelphia Weekly's Craig D. Lindsey, who offered an impassioned counterpoint to Love's attempt at mounting an anti-Amy backlash.

How 'bout you decide for yourself:

Amy Winehouse — "Me & Mr. Jones"


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I like the Motown/Etta James/doowop influences, but I'd rather listen to the originals.

the le duo

she is one sexy sounding lady...damn! I'd have a pint with her any night


Here's something I offered in an informal discussion with other geeky music writers:

"Ms. Winehouse's record is stronger in some spots than others. That could
be due to her overall greeness, or could be the fault of her
producers/handlers. But let's skip that for now.

What is obvious is AW's committedness to soul. Instead of melisma runs and
over-the-top flutters, she takes a simple melody and makes it convincingly
her own.

"Dock of the Bay" is a simple fucking melody, but through Otis Redding,
it was transformed into something both personal and universal. In
Winehouse's own small way, she's tapped into the timeless aspects of
sensual blues. Most of today's vocalists are very much like the guitarists
of the hair-metal era: they've repossessed a genre and exploited it in order to show off their technical mastery, with little regard for song or emotion. Winehouse's music may very well be retro, but it least it bleeds real blood.

Which isn't to say there isn't a lot of show(wo)manship on "Back to
Black." But songs like "Rehab" (and a thimbleful of others) does what all
good soul should, which is to take boiler-plate pentatonics and elevate
them to the realm of ass-happy art."

I like the old stuffs, too. But Where else do you get to hear the word "fuckery" in a '60s soul song? Also, the Dap-Kings are her backing band and they RULE.


I like the album and enjoy playing it in the store but I can't help but feel like the progressions and melodies are definitely used.

Also, the melodies seem a heck of a lot like Lauryn Hill.
still good though.


excuse me, I meant to say "pre-owned"


What's wrong with Lauryn Hill? And listen to those basslines by the Dap-Kings dude.

And guys -- she sings about boozing... Can you not relate?


nothing's wrong with Lauryn Hill. It was an unintended implication. Well, maybe her ridiculous comments about race and her own music, but that's a separate issue. The last thing I'll say on Winehouse is that it is fascinating to me how many people worldwide are desperate to imitate american black music. Her singing accent is 100% meticulous imitation of African American speech patterns. Some might call 100% meticulous imitation "fake." I do like the album and, yes, the bass lines are awesome.


"It is fascinating to me how many people worldwide are desperate to imitate american black music."

When hasn't this been the case? Blame Elvis, not Winehouse.

I'll agree that she exaggerates everything, from the slurred phrasing to her gussied-up biker chick look. But it's all part of the act. Authenticity in music is a subject worthy of debate, but sometimes you just gotta let it go. I mean, I know Slayer don't really sacrifice kittens to Satan, but that doesn't mean I can't get off on Reign in Blood.

Mistress Maeve

She's officially added to my "Getting It On" play list. Thanks, Casey.


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