Thursday, January 25, 2007
I'm sorry, mostly to myself, for not having updated this old bitch in a long time. You see, when you store your writing in the attic for days and days and days it starts to mildew and get a little stinky and get covered in husks of spiders. I blame Joe's Pub but it most likely has to do with a little snifter of depression. Fortunately a long walk from 31st street Manhattan to Willoughby avenue Brooklyn gave me time to crank my depression into submission and spindle my manic phase back out of her hidey hole.
I like how this is a livejournal now.
Anyhow, I don't know how many of you've gotten to hear sum of dat Amy Winehouse, but let me tell you this: her forthcoming album (in the US) is the first album I've heard to be released this year that I can't stop playing on repeat.
Now! the whole album is superb, but people give less than two shits about a whole album as they now do about Yao Ming if anyone ever did. You all want your i-pod's corpulent and resplendent, you brats, and I, being the whore I am, will afford you a couple songs to stuff those little white rectangles. Trust me, though, you'll want to run out and buy Back to Black as soon as it's out, its damn good.
My initial reaction when I saw her (and was momentarily trapped in a corner by Mos Def's back) was that she sounded like Lauren Hill. No doubt this allusion will be made time and time again by jerks like me who have nothing better to compare. She still sounds like Hill, but it has become clear to me (and the media) that she is a little drunker around the edges than the stab-you-in-the-face-with-a-crucifix Hill. Regardless, both of their influences incubated beneath a warm light bulb in the same classroom where Soul, R&B and funk once learned their shapes (though funk was held back several years due to white music executives not believing it was worthy of anything besides this)
Anyway, we won't get further into that slip'n'slidey slope of authenticity and identity that a white girl singing traditional soul might ask of us, I will simply say that the songs "You Know I'm No Good" and "He Can Only Hold Her" (the latter of which, as I was shown by Mr tofu, actually lifts riffs and tunes from various soul songs) are amazing cuts and perfect examples of the smashing (SMASHING I SAY!) this album could do to our little american sandcastle pop-charts.
You might recognize "You Know I'm No Good" if you've heard the Ghostface Killah version on More Fish, his B-Side Album for fishscale released late last year. I actually haven't gotten a chance to hear it yet but the copy of the album I got had the Wu-Tang master's song on there. Its good, but not as good as the Winehouse vrsn. It works better with Winehoue's brilliant and painful lyrics about compulsion to cheat on her boyfriend. also: works better with her sultry vixen vixen vixen voice than Killah's raspy, feaux-bitter (though convincing as always) spitting. It's a shame that his rapping outshines her simply because her vocals seem sampled or used for a hook. But those horns those horns, god damn give me more of those horns. I need more bass sax in my ears and more broken up chords building me up and finally the follow-the-bouncing-ball hook. God damn. that hook is so good.
You Know I'm No Good
Initially, "He Can Only Hold Her" is a clear reference to Lauryn Hill's "Doo Wop (That Thing)" and in fact, when I saw her, a little tongue in cheeky Winehouse square-knotted Hill's masterpiece into the end of this song all easy like. But jesus
another perfect hook emerges with them brassy trumpets mere seconds into this one and the backup singers singing along and overtop and underneath and around and each doing barrel rolls. and the back bone of the song is the jazzy echo guitar fucking around behind everything.
He Can Only Hold Her
and I'm out- its bed time.