When Amy Winehouse first landed in the US with her Neo Soul, Jazz and Blues inspired vocals, we were taken by surprise. Here she was, a Jewish born, UK native with a voice like Billie Holiday circa 1945 and a splash of Erykah Badu.
Her music career came to a tragic end after Winehouse died at the young age of 27 earlier this year. Her unfinished work had been unheard– until now.
Island Def Jam and producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi released her first post-humous album earlier this week titled “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” and it is indeed one of the best albums of the year.
It re-debuts her duet with Tony Bennett, Body & Soul, from his album “Duets”, as well as a collection of Motown Inspired classics. The album also features 1968 classic “Valerie”, recorded back in 2006 and later sung as a tribute to her by pop star and fan, Bruno Mars at the MTV VMA’s.
The album is literally music to my ears. Its smooth vocals paired with an amazing set of musicians makes for one of the best jazz EP’s I’ve ever heard. More than that, it reflects the softer side of Amy, a side that was somewhat distorted in the years leading up to her untimely demise.
As Newsweek’s Chris Lee comments in his most recent column titled
“Consecutive listens to Lioness beget a central question: where would fellow Brit retro-revisionists such as Duffy or Adele be without Winehouse’s renovation of the genre?”
and quite honestly, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The album is available at Target as a deluxe EP and everywhere else you buy music.
Download it here on iTunes.