Review - Amy Winehouse - Lioness: Hidden Treasures
Amy Winehouse’s first posthumous album, ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ comes out on December 6th, and it may or may not be worth a buy, depending on how much of a fan you are.
First, let’s get one thing strait: ‘Lioness’ is not an album full of new material. Fans that go out and buy this CD looking for a dozen or so completely original Winehouse tracks will be let down.
‘Lioness’ is ultimately very bittersweet. At once you realize that beyond anything else, Winehouse did have an impressive vocal gift. Her voice didn’t compare to the power of the divas of our time, nor did it lend itself to the top-of-the-charts-hits like Britney or Gaga, but it definitely was impressive. Her vocals on every track seem effortless but are so meaningful. Like Amy herself, her voice was a total character; there was a uniqueness to it the world had never heard.
After her vocals affect you, analysis of the songs can begin. Songs like “Body and Soul (ft. Tony Bennett)” and “Our Day Will Come” show us that Amy almost didn’t belong in our time. Amy is at her best when she is working in the past; her sound is that of yesteryear, and she does it arguably better than some of those who really did live and sing back then.
New, original tracks like “Like Smoke (ft. Nas)” finally show us that while Winehouse was a master of covering the hits of decades before, she was no one trick pony. Amy could put it all together and hit it out of the park every time. I am sure that there are very few unreleased original songs left in the Winehouse repertoire (if any after this), and that is a very sad thought. She was obviously capable of producing great things, and who knows how much more beauty the world is denied by her loss.
In the end, however, ‘Lioness’ is not representative of her best. Tracks like “Tears Dry On Their Own” are simply demo versions of some of our favorites, and it is clear to see why they were not released as final versions. One wonders how much of this Winehouse would have wanted the world to hear.
Listen to: “Our Day Will Come”, “Body and Soul (ft. Tony Bennett)”, and “Like Smoke (ft. Nas)”