May 8, 2007


Winehouse: natural and satisfying (Joan Anderman, May 8, 2007, Boston Globe)

[Amy] Winehouse opened with "Addicted" and closed with "I'm No Good," but to the chagrin of fans hoping to engage in a booze-fueled communal bender, the artist's only stumbles were a late start and a bit of trouble forming certain words between songs. Otherwise Winehouse was a total success, not by virtue of sparkling showmanship or sex appeal -- she sported surprisingly little of either, despite her nude-lady tattoos -- but just by being that rare creature we call a natural.

Backed by the eight-piece New York R&B ensemble the Dap-Kings, Winehouse sang all but one of the songs from her breakthrough album, last year's "Back to Black," tossing in a cover of the Zuton's "Valerie" and two tracks from her 2003 debut, "Frank." And sing was all she did, leaving the evening's move-busting in the capable hands (and legs and torsos) of her suave, loose-limbed back-up singers, both men. A bit of stiff hip-swivel ing was the beginning and end of Winehouse's body language.

But pressed to the microphone is where Winehouse belongs, and it sounds as though she's been there forever. Her languid, gritty phrasing and vintage-sounding soul tunes have deep roots, and yet Winehouse doesn't qualify as retro. Even the 23-year-old's inky beehive, a tangled and towering nest that required frequent nudging, seemed fresh. Part of that is wishful thinking; Generation Next deserves its own Motown sound. But mostly it's because Winehouse was so effortlessly, unassumingly herself: no airs, no anxiety, no ingratiating shout-outs to her heroes. Her endearingly awkward efforts to explain song meanings were a far cry from the smooth stage stylings of her predecessors.

Rumor has it, she's the next Bond girl.

Thanks to Ted Welter, there's an Amy Winehouse Playlist in our Media Master widget.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 8, 2007 7:05 AM

I'm kicking myself for not being on top Winehouse's local concert date; by the time I was aware she was coming to town, it was sold out, and the 15 dollar tickets were going for 200 bucks on craigslist. I guess she only gave a competent, 45 minute set, so I'm glad I didn't pay a scalper.

Another really good female singer I've been listening to the last couple of days is Leslie Feist--her "Let it Die" album (2004) in particular.

Posted by: ted welter at May 8, 2007 8:48 AM