Mark Ronson, together with Salaam Remi, compiled some of her best demos for this posthumously released album. There is no doubt however, that these songs would not have made the final cut in her eyes, as it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Frank and Back To Black.
Having said that, Winehouse had one of the most recognisable voices in the music industry, and it is her versatile and strong vocals that carry this album. Being a mix of demos from 2002-2011, it’s no surprise that all the tracks clearly have different influences (‘Our Day Will Come’ has a reggae feel, while ‘Body & Soul’ is a jazzy Tony Bennett collaboration), but her voice is the magical glue that holds it together.
After she name checked US rapper Nas in ‘Me & Mr. Jones’ (on Back To Black) they became tight, so it’s no surprise that Nas lends a rap to ‘Like Smoke’ to complete her unfinished track. Had Winehouse been able to contribute more than just a hook the song would have been amazing. The standout track on the album is ‘Between The Cheats’, which she recorded in 2008.
It was slated to appear on her third album, so naturally it is also one of the most polished sounding songs. The slower tempo of the album evokes a somber mood, which almost parallels the tragic way in which she wasted away in the last few years. Amy Winehouse fans will definitely not be disappointed by this fitting tribute to a talented musician gone too soon.
This article also appears on Junior at http://www.junioronline.com.au/MUSIC/AMY-WINEHOUSE-REVIEW.html