Amy Winehouse passed away on July 23rd, 2011, I was very sad that day, and also for a long period after, and still feel sadness to this day each time I reflect on what was really lost. I felt so sorry for her troubled soul and even through her edginess, how vulnerable she appeared to be throughout her short life.
Every time I listen to this album I always find myself drifting off down a rabbit hole of thought, imagining different scenarios, wondering what way things would have turned out for Amy had she still been alive, would her career have developed much further? would she have stuck with the treatment that she was undergoing and turned her life around? Or was there just a sad inevitability about her time on earth? Everyone has their own take on this, I just know that the mould that was broken when she was born into this world, has never been fixed again.
You don’t need me to give you a track-by-track rundown of this beautiful collection of songs from the heart, chances are you’ve heard a lot of them multiple times already and have read all the reviews over the years, there’s very little extra shine I can add to that which is already perfect. ‘Back to Black’, the title track from the album, is quite possibly the finest breakup song ever written, inspired by one of her early splits. ‘You Know I’m No Good’ sounds like something from one of the finest soul albums in history, whatever you decide that may be, there’s just so much to say about every song on this beautifully timeless LP that i can really only skim over with these words.
To me, this album is just absolute perfection on every level, Amy’s song-witing, vocal projection, story telling and structure of lyrics within the songs is sublime, that’s not forgetting the very important input of Mark Ronson on production duties in giving these songs such a rich, organic sound that remained so true to the original soul roots that Amy loved so much, he brought them to life and catapulted this sound into our modern era, giving them a radio friendly twist.
When you do sit back and actually analyse the richness and delicate, sultry tones of her voice you can’t help but get pulled into a different and deep listening experience, way more so than with most other artists in history. I place Amy Winehouse high up on a pedestal alongside the greats of all time, Billie, Aretha, Ella, Nina etc, voices such as these don’t come around very often in a lifetime.
To say that this beautiful young woman left a massive gaping hole in the world of music and the lives of so many would be one of the most obvious statements that I’ve written in these daily posts. Thanks to the world of digital media though she will continue to be enjoyed and will live on in the hearts of everyone who respected her, forever.