December 6, 2011 by Manny Wordsmith
Let me say first off, I thought Amy Winehouse was black.
Nothing really changed when I found out that she wasn’t, but I really thought I had a better ear for music.
Amy Winehouse’s portrayal of a 1950s dusty voiced Jazz singer is uncanny. When I first heard the song “Tears Dry on Their Own” I immediately felt like I was a kid again, listening to Sarah Vaughn of the Jazz radio station. Erykah Badu is the only other singer that brings me back to that time, a time when music was a little purer and a little more personal.
This album won’t bring Amy back. If anything the album will remind that Amy was truly unique. Other singers from England have stepped up to fill the void. Adele probably being the best one. But not even Adele will be able to encompass as much life, love, hate and heartbreak into her songs as much as Amy Winehouse did.
This album has a couple new tracks and a few unreleased original recordings from her earlier albums (“Tears Dry”,”Valerie”, “Wake Up Alone”) . Unlike most posthumous albums, this isn’t filled with a heap of features by artists she never met. Instead it only features two. Nas (who spits two amazing verses over Amy’s tantalizing vocals) and the great Tony Bennett (who recorded the song “Body and Soul” with Amy before she died).
“Song for You”, the final track on the album, has Amy pleading out to boy. It would probably sound like any other good-bye/I’m too good for you any way song, but when she sings “And when my life is over, remember, remember, remember” I can’t help but think that she’s talking to directly to me and to every other fan who’s enjoyed her music.