Back then, her new album was Back to Black, which we wrote "freshens up the classic soul albums with original songs done in the style of the 1950/60′s girl groups . . . falling between Billie Holiday and Ronnie Spector."
Well, it turns out that we are not the only ones who are enamored with her: Winehouse was just nominated for six Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Song and Album of the Year, and the prestigious Record of the Year (not that I can explain the difference between album and record of the year).
Since then, Back to Black has sold over one million copies in the US alone.
However, since it is Friday Night Jazz, I wanted to bring her prior UK album to your attention: Frank. On the strength of Back to Black, and a few recs from friends in the UK, I picked up the import version shortly after I got Back to Black in the Spring.
If you liked Back to Black, I would expect you will find Frank worthy of your attention. Where Back to Black was based on ’60s girl groups and ’70s soul, Frank is a much jazzier R&B album. And like her other album, its strong all the way through.
Winehouse brings her refreshingly sly sense of humor with a take no-prisoners, put up with no bullshit persona. She gets away with this all the while, because she has the vocal chops to back it up. This combination is epitomized in the boozy song "Fuck Me Pumps."
Both albums stand out for their simple but powerful approach: Very strong instrumentalists fronted by an extremely talented lyricist/songwriter/vocalist.
Amy Winehouse has reason to celebrate with six Grammy nominations
The Times, December 7, 2007
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