Pitchfork hates her. Paste loves her. I actually think she's pretty entertaining. The final arbiter, Metacritic, tends to agree. Amy Winehouse is a British soul singer who sounds like a cross between Martha & the Vandellas, or maybe Ronnie Spector, and Slick Rick. I decided to check her out after the Paste review (which doesn't appear to be online yet), and I have to say that I pretty much agree with them. Possessed of an utterly bewitching voice, if somewhat affected, she updates a classic '60s American soul sound with modern R&B to produce an entirely refreshing take on popular music. It almost makes you wonder why it took a Brit to come up with this. But never mind that. Winehouse's Back To Black is a great, lush record; "lush" both in the sense of "luxuriant" and "inebriated," as exemplified by the lead single "Rehab," which is posted below. Ms. Winehouse, whose alcoholic exploits are already becoming the stuff of legend, is also possessed of a filthy mouth ("we need to find the time / to just do this shit together / before it gets worse" from "Just Friends," an ode to casual sex), but it works well with what she's trying to accomplish. The whole effect may be a bit contrived, but like I said, it's most entertaining, and a nice change of pace.
MP3: Amy Winehouse - "Rehab" from Back To Black
YouTube: Amy Winehouse - "You Know I'm No Good" from Back To Black
Holy crap, but a lot of good music came out today. TTT has a lot of digesting to do, but I suspect there'll be discussion of Andrew Bird, LCD Soundsystem, Modest Mouse, Low, etc. to get to pretty soon. Stay tuned.