Much has been said about this album, simply because it’s so damn good. Much has been said about Amy Winehouse too, simply because she’s so damn wild. But you need to put that stuff out of your head and dig this album for what it is, which is one of the best damn soul albums of the modern era, by one of the greatest damn soul singers (and songwriters) of the modern era. Anyone who can come up with lines like: “What kind of fuckery is this?” or “It’s got me addicted/Does more than any dick did” or “Love is a fate resigned/Over futile odds/And laughed at by the Gods/And now the final frame/Love is a losing game”, is a gritty gutter poet that should be celebrated alongside Bukowski in my book. But there are many reasons to love this album. Every song is a winner. It sweeps through the full spectrum of the bittersweet human condition and makes great art out of the paradoxical struggle. It’s sad, yet sweet. It’s tough, yet fragile. It’s dark, yet the vocal melodies are pure sunshine. By taking cues from the legendary jazz sirens like Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday; the Phil Spector girl groups like The Ronettes and The Crystals, then filtering it all through the modern genres of Trip-Hop and R&B and Reggae/Dub/Ska, Amy and her band (The Dap Kings, check out also Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings albums) have conjured up a super seductive fresh brand of post-post-modern old-school cool. So ignore the media’s headlines and gossip and callous dogging of this promising young artist, and get yourself addicted.
~ DECOY SPOON