Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse will be missed

AP Photo - FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2007 file photo, British singer Amy Winehouse poses for photographs after being interviewed by The Associated Press at a studio in north London, Friday, Feb. 16, 2007.

I haven't been this saddened by a musician's death since Kurt Cobain.

An emotive, gifted singer and accomplished songwriter, Amy Winehouse, dead at age 27, had so much more to give the world.

In 2007, I picked her breakthrough album "Back to Black" as my third favorite of the year for the annual Top 10 lists we did at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.

3  Amy Winehouse: Back to Black (Republic). Forget, for a moment, the awful tabloid photos, the on-stage blunders (key bump, anyone?) and that she really does need rehab. Winehouse did a remarkable thing this year: She gave us a soul album that brilliantly updates the sounds of Stax and Motown with language that speaks to the modern woman -- someone who can feel sexy, confident, scorned and miserable all in the same day, and openly discuss such feelings. The horns and backup singers might recall a record from 1970, but it's all about the here and now when Winehouse asks: "What kind of (expletive) is this?" and then sings "You don't mean (expletive) to me."

Looking at my iTunes, "Back to Black" has enjoyed substantial more plays than the top two on my list from '07.

I'll have more to say about Winehouse's passing — and her joining Cobain, Jimi, Janis and others in the 27 Club — in the near future. For now, here's one of Winehouse's self-penned songs I consider perhaps the most powerful of the past decade, especially this acoustic version. 

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