Back To Black

November 25, 2014 - Comment

AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (2006 UK 11-track CD album – Amys acclaimed second studio album includes the singles Rehab You Know Im No Good Back To Black Tears Dry On Their Own & Love Is A Losing Game with picture / lyric inlay)Amy Winehouse’s second album, Back to Black, is one of the finest

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AMY WINEHOUSE Back To Black (2006 UK 11-track CD album – Amys acclaimed second studio album includes the singles Rehab You Know Im No Good Back To Black Tears Dry On Their Own & Love Is A Losing Game with picture / lyric inlay)Amy Winehouse’s second album, Back to Black, is one of the finest soul albums, British or otherwise, to come out for years. Frank, her first album, was a sparse and stripped-down affair; Back to Black, meanwhile, is neither of these things. This time around, she’s taken her inspiration from some of the classic 1960’s girl groups like the Supremes and the Shangri-Las, a sound particularly suited to her textured vocal delivery, while adding a contemporary songwriting sensibility. With the help of producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, “Rehab” becomes a gospel-tinged stomp, while the title track (and album highlight) is a heartbreaking musical tribute to Phil Spector, with it’s echoey bass drum, rhythmic piano, chimes, saxophone and close harmonies. Best of all, though, is the fact that Back to Black bucks the current trend in R&B by being unabashedly grown-up in both style and content. Winehouse’s lyrics deal with relationships from a grown-up perspective, and are honest, direct and, often, complicated: on “You Know I’m No Good”, she’s unapologetic about her unfaithfulness. But she can also be witty, as on “Me & Mrs Jones” when she berates a boyfriend with “You made me miss the Slick Rick gig”. Back to Black is a refreshingly mature soul album, the best of its kind for years. –Ted Kord

Comments

John Tansey says:

Hmm… Now I love the Winehouse – as much a description as it is a name these days – and I think ‘Back To Black’ is a fantastic modern soul record that I would not hesitate to award five stars. Amy’s voice sounds phanominal on her second album and Mark Ronson’s production – despite, as we have seen with his own album ‘Versions’, adding horns to things being the only thing he can do – brings these wonderful songs to life. But when the major labels start reissueing deluex/ultimate/limited/+DVD editions of successful abums it makes me despare, especially as this new version is so damn amazing! I love Winehouse’s take on ‘Valerie’, and I’ve seen her perform ‘Monkey Man’ on television and that was great too, as is everything she does.Granted, ‘Back To Black’ couldn’t have been released like this a year ago, but why couldn’t there have been another version with just the bonus disc and the sexy sexy packaging – for about £7 – then fans who bought the album when it first came out aren’t…

Matt Kenway says:

Worth it for the extra songs This version of the album includes a second disc containing some well chosen cover versions (“Cupid” being the most memorable), although Amy leans a bit too heavily on the ska style for my liking. That said, it’s definitely worth checking out this version rather than the earlier one that’s still available (particularly when it’s such a short album by modern standards).There’s probably not much that can be said about “Back To Black” that hasn’t been said already. It’s a fantastic album, certainly a big confident leap forward from “Frank” (which could really have been an EP for the number of decent songs on there). The only slight criticism I would make is the shamelessly retro style of the production – the Sixties vibe has been re-created so slavishly, sometimes to the detriment of the songs. But this is a minor point really.If you’ve only heard the singles from this album, you might be surprised at how dark it all is. Whereas “Frank” was largely exhuberant and…

FAMOUS NAME says:

True talent! First thing I noticed about this Album was the fact that it was just thirty-five minutes long – a plus for me, since I’m so tired of over-long and boring Albums geared to make us think we are getting more for our money… (more rubbish perhaps!) This Album does anything but bore the Listener, and Amy Winehouse certainly knew the key was to have short bursts of quality instead of ‘gimmicky’ over-long trash!Like many I suppose, I am not ashamed to say I purchased this Album since her death – but not for that reason alone; I had in fact been on the point of purchasing it for some time, but her constant feature in the News for all the wrong reasons, I guess I held off. However; as the saying goes; something good always comes out of something tragic, and I imagine that there will be many more who did not know or appreciate Amy until her untimely death… Packed with eleven great catchy numbers which simply spell ‘talent’, ‘quality’ and ‘pure listening pleasure’…

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