Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Me & Mr. Jones

Best of 2007

Song: Me & Mr. Jones
Artist: Amy Winehouse
Album: Back to Black

Amy Winehouse gave us a lot this year. She gave us the return of the beehive hairdo. She gave us a string of semi-lucid, shocking, and ultimately sad public performances. She gave us the paparazzi pictures to match, looking emaciated, hammered, beat up… a real train wreck. But she also gave us one of the very best albums of the year… the old-soul, new attitude, tour-de-force that was “Back in Black.”

Nothing bums me out more than when media debasement over-shadows the actual art a public figure makes, though nobody else married their public mess of a life with their art quite like Amy. Given that the first single (and huge hit) was entitled “Rehab,” and wasn’t come cathartic singer-songwriter ode to getting clear but the REFUSAL to do so… the girl is just different. If nothing else it helped her break in this country, which is close to impossible for established acts from the U.K. No small feat.

But again, let’s not let the music be overshadowed… it’s too excellent. With the help of producer of the moment Mark Ronson, Winehouse crafted a true modern classic. She nailed the 60’s girl group Motown sound, with prestine vocals to match (Winehouse’s voice is amazing, distinct,) but wrote truly modern songs of breakup, heartache, and self-loathing. “Back to Black” works beyond just a soul re-tread because the songs are so well constructed and, potty mouth and all, Amy creates a wholly original persona.

Some choice lines:

“What kind of fuckery is this?
You made me miss the Slick Rick gig” from “Me & Mr. Jones”

“I'm in the tub, you on the seat,
Lick your lips as I soak my feet,
Then you notice little carpet burn,
My stomach drops and my guts churn,
You shrug and it's the worst,
Who truly stuck the knife in first” from “You Know I’m no Good”

“We only said good-bye with words
I died a hundred times
You go back to her
And I go back to black” from “Back to Black”

Song for song “Back to Black” is an amazing record. Put it on for a cocktail party or score your next emotional breakdown, it’s an album that will be there for you… let’s hope that Amy can get it together enough to give us a follow-up.


Back to Black

Tears Dry on Their Own

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