Amy Winehouse: Lioness: Hidden Treasures

Amy Winehouse
Lioness: Hidden Treasures
(Island Records)

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Let’s be blunt—no one really cared about Amy Winehouse before she died. Think about it—the last thing we heard about her before she died was that she’d been booed off the stage in Serbia for being too drunk to perform, to which most of us rolled our eyes and said, “Oh, that Amy!” with a chuckle. This wasn’t shocking news to us because throughout her career, most of her headlines were similar in nature. She became known for being an inebriated wreck rather than the incredible talent that she was, which is really a shame.

Lioness: Hidden Treasures is an attempt to improve Winehouse’s legacy and consists of 12 previously unreleased tracks that showcase the true talent that she actually had. Included in the album is a fun, different version of her hit single “Valerie,” and an eerie, reggae-ish rendition of the Leon Russell classic “A Song For You,” which plays like Amy wrapping up her life in song (And when my life is over/Remember when we were together/We were alone and I was singing this song for you)—hence the term “eerie.”

One of my favorite songs off the album is “Between the Cheats,”—a song about unhealthy love with old-school Frankie Valli-esque doo-wop background vocals, which has become Winehouse’s trademark of sorts.

The best track on the album is the newly Grammy-nominated “Body and Soul” duet performed with the iconic Tony Bennett. Frankly, everything about the performance is perfect. Their harmonies, their pitch, and that incredible ending all make for an exceptional recording of this jazz standard. Bennett said it best when he called her a “true jazz singer.” It’s just a shame we didn’t get to see more of this truly talented performer before her demons got the best of her.

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