Elke M. from PHILADELPHIA, PA Reviewed on 8/30/2011...
This CD is excellent. The songs are provocative, honest, and hit home. I have come to the sad realization of what a great talent was lost when Amy Winehouse died.
J. Shin | Hawaii | 01/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Got the album download last week for $8. I already have her other album, Frank, which I also enjoy immensely but I feel this is a superior album overall. The songs have a more old time classic blues/jazz sound to them and Amy is just masterful in her renditions. In my opinion,she's the BEST I've heard in the last 10 years. If you only know her from her off stage antics and troubles, PLEASE do yourself a favor and give her a listen. Only can such beautiful music come from such a tortured soul."
An astonishing album of updated 60s soul/jazz
ILikeAmazon | Arlington, VA USA | 01/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Amy Winehouse sounds incredibly authentic as the Detroit-via-London chanteuse who infuses each song with 60s Shangri-Las doo-wop plus some jazz and blues. It's as if some time machine dropped on your CD player, pushed you back 40 years, and ten lost gems just tumbled out. However, the lyrics don't speak to bubblegum sensibilities -- heartache, relationship upheavals, and personal downfalls inhabit these songs. Amazing that she wrote or co-wrote all the songs. An incredible emotive talent with the perfect voice for this project. I did want to note that the tracks produced by Salaam Remi (ex: Me & Mr Jones) sound much cleaner than those produced by Mark Ronson (ex: "Rehab") who tries a bit too hard to recreate that mono-ish 60s wall of sound. This is not a high-fidelity release."
Proving real soul singing will never die...
Thomas Moody | STEPHENVILLE, TEXAS United States | 09/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who would have known that a voice such as this would come from someone who looks like Nikki Sixx's little sister? Amy Winehouse nails 60's soul both from a performance and spiritual perspective with 2006's "Back to Black." Proving that image means nothing when the heart and soul are poured into the music, Winehouse literally empties her spirit on most of these tracks and the result was (for me) refreshing and surprising while, at the same time, anxious at where she's been since. The answer, of course, is that Winehouse is just as impassioned about her addictions and self-destructive behavior as she is about her singing and has spent an untold amount of time from 2007 until now in and out of legal trouble as well as rehab facilities. In fact, the kickoff song of this album "Rehab" really sets the theme for her post album problems as she exhibited poor judgement that clearly were based on those addicitions.
This mix of 10 songs (the elevnth is a remix) unambiguously combines vocal influeneces from Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and a lot of Janis Joplin. All of it backed with an amazingly simple but tight musical troupe that emphasizes the baritone sax, piano and heavy bass. My favorites include "Rehab", which is a funky fusion of jazz and soul with Amy's contralto vocals flowing fluidly through the changes. "You Know That I'm No Good" is in the same vein, but with the afore mentioned baritone sax prominently sailing throughout. "Me and Mr. Jones" and "Tears Dry On Their Own" are classic 60's soul ballads that stretch Amy's vocal abilities...these songs really show her ability to seamlessly go from soul to jazz and back to soul all the while evoking that spirit that is essential to pulling off this type of music.
A major highlight is the dark and murky "Back to Black"...starting off like an old Supreme's tune, Winehouse then inserts an overriding and powerful tonal quality that veers the song quickly from pop to something other-worldly. Almost moaning, she emotes the emptiness of betrayal: "Me and my head high and my tears dry get on without my guy."
My favorite though is "Love is a Losing Game"...this song kills me each time I hear it. A smooth and emotional ballad, this work shows Winehouse at her best vocally as she digs deep for her convictions about love and its "self professed, profound" realities. The backing music is simple, highlighted by a jazzy snare drum that's clearly been brought out prominently in the mix.
This album was nominated for 6 Grammies and won 5 (missing Album of the Year) making Winehouse an instant "artist of note". One listen to this etheral work will certainly solidify that lofty acclamation.