I was introduced to Amy Winehouse through Ghostface’s remake of “You Know I’m No Good.” After listening to her latest album, Back to Black, I could see why a Fishscale cutter such as Ghostface is attracted to her style. Winehouse is not only a soulful crooner, but also a bitch of a singer who sings from the pussy.
Unlike what her skin and appearance might suggest, Winehouse has an old, sultry voice with dark, esoteric soul, and a mind full of grime, smoke and booze. Right from the lead-off track, “Rehab,” she already commits a crime. Over a high-spirited gospel groove, she confesses, “I’m gonna, I’m gonna lose my baby / So I keep a bottle near.” On the title track, she continues with her other addiction and has no shame to admit that, “You love blow and I love puff / and life is like a pipe.” Yet the wittiest moment is on the Nas-inspired “Me and Mr. Jones,” in which she sings about her relationship: “What kind of fuckery are we? / Nowadays you don’t mean dick to me.”
Since the album started with “Rehab,” it makes sense for her to close it out with “Addicted” to complete the cycle. It only fair that when you smoked all her weed, you gotta call the green man. She doesn’t care if you got a man. Like she said, “I’d rather have myself a smoke my homegrown / It’s got me addicted, does more than any dick did.”
Through Winehouse’s lustful vocals, provocative lyrics, and damn good ear for beats, Back to Black is cross over between American soul and British substance. With eleven tracks clocking in a little over half an hour, the album is short, precise but fuckeriously fabulous.