The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU students gather around a bucket of markers to write an encouraging note to put in “Welcome to the Shelter” kits at event in mid-April on SMU’s campus.
Dallas homeless recovery center, The Bridge, is a home
Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024

Amy Winehose: ‘bawdy Brit’ goes Back to Black

When you hear the name Amy Winehose, remember it well. If there’s any justice in the world, this bawdy Brit is about to be the next big thing.

I’ve been a huge fan since her first album, “Frank,” which was never officially released in the States. So, her second release was highly anticipated.

Never one to disappoint, she has returned with “Back to Black,” a sort of homage to Motown and the ’50s girl-group sound.

You may have already seen a You Tube video that uses Winehouse’s single “Rehab.” It features cleverly edited footage of Britney Spears as Winehouse sings, “They tried to make me go to rehab, but I said NO NO NO.”

She’s able to take the form of an old soul record and give it a new spin, a testament to her genius as a songwriter. In this day of superficial pop songs, she sings with unprecedented honesty. It’s refreshing, to say the least.

Another standout track on the album is the title track, which finds her lamenting about being the other woman. The track marches along as she mournfully sings, “We only said goodbye with words/I died a hundred times/you go back to her/and I go back to black.”

Somehow, she seamlessly combines the attitude of a rapper, the voice of a boozy jazz singer and an old soul track. It’s really something marvelous to hear.

Taking a definite note from Motown, my favorite track on the album is the slightly hopeful “Tears Dry On Their Own.”

Like most songs of the ’50s era, the track is barely three minutes long, but it’s quality over quantity.

From the moment she sings “All I can ever be to you/Is the darkness that we knew/And this regret I’ve grown accustomed to,” you can feel her soul oozing out of the song. She has that rare ability to accurately emote every word she sings.

One of the more contemporary sounding songs on the album is the candid “You Know I’m No Good.” It takes that ’50s doo-wop style and contrasts with a hip-hop breakbeat; think Lauryn Hill’s “Doo Wop (That Thing).” In the chorus, she sings, “I cheated myself/Like I knew I would/I told ya I was trouble/You know that I’m no good,” with the kind of sincerity that makes you believe every word.

Throughout the album, Winehouse is able to take a classic sound and give it a contemporary perspective, primarily through her lyrics.

She has a sort of openness in writing that makes you wonder if she’s even capable of holding anything back.

It’s rare that an artist understands how to convey her emotions with a pop sensibility so that it’s real and accessible simultaneously.

From her drunken television appearances to her nightclub brawls, Winehouse has a larger-than-life image that I’m sure the gossip media will just eat up.

It doesn’t matter though, because this girl has the goods to back up the hype.

So when you hear her name start popping up in the next few weeks, know that she is the real deal.

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