The sun has beat down on Sheffield all day today and I have been making the most of it, dancing about on Devonshire Green at the Tramlines music festival. Checking my phone I had a couple of text messages and twitter updates telling me that Amy Winehouse has been found dead at her home in Camden, North London. I’m pretty tired and danced out now, but before I go to bed I think Amy deserves a few words being as I have been focusing on music today.
‘Love is a Loosing Game’ is softly fanning the air of the room as I am writing this. I’m not surprised she has passed away, you only have to listen to one of her biggest hits ‘Rehab’ to know she had a serious alcohol and drug problem, but people are shocked. I guess the shock is rooted from disbelief that talent like that can vanish in a whirlwind of intoxication. I don’t want to focus on her downfall, however. The images of her falling down and struggling to sing properly are a far cry from why she was admired. Normally, I’d turn my head from a public figure behaving in such a way but I never stopped liking Amy Winehouse. I think once you had been caught up in her music, it was impossible to let go. For me personally, she has been an artist I have returned to again and again.
Her music is an electric mix of an incredible soulful, smooth voice with a blast of jazz. She was definitely unique and her simple classy sets and charming band were all she needed when she was at her best. I suggest you have a rummage in your CD collection and get the ‘Back to Black’ album out right this second. Skip ‘Rehab’ and ‘You know I’m no good’ (great songs but the album has so much more to offer) and tune into ‘Me and Mr Jones’, ‘Love is a loosing Game’, ‘Some Unholy War’, ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ and ‘Back to Black’.
Listening to her music transports me back in time. I feel like I’m in a black and white movie, sat at a bar, drinking out of a martini glass. It oozes style, class and confidence, and encapsulates so many fabulous styles of music. I’ve already mentioned a few and listening to ‘He Can Only Hold her’, however, I’m finding myself adding motown to the list.
Barbara Ellen adds in her article for the Guardian:
“It was Winehouse who kicked back open the door for real melody, genuine rhythm and lyrics soaked in passion. Certainly for young female artists, Amy Winehouse was a creative inspiration, the like of which hadn’t been seen for many years.”
Something also has to be said about her as a fashion icon. Beehive-inspired hairstyles were all over the place a few years ago. I’ve always loved the Marilyn Monroe eyeliner flick, Amy had her own take. Her style was inspired by great eras and she completely twisted and made it her own.
What Amy Winehouse did to herself when she got so involved with drugs there was no going back was tragic – it smothered her talent. She really could have been an amazing role model. Whatever you say about her though, I can close my eyes and listen to her songs and really feel something. She was a modern poet, and she fit her lyrics and the music together so perfectly. When I listen to her album, ‘Back to Black’ it is like listening to a person speaking about their life; It is all raw emotion but she made it so beautiful and smooth. Her heart was always in her music.
Amy Winehouse could have been so much more; I hope those she inspired will learn from her mistakes. Thank you for the amazing songs.