Random observations, teachings and musings of a well trained cubicle superhero.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Amy Winehouse in Toronto

Amy Winehouse @ Mod Club Theatre

Toronto Fri, Mar 23, 2007

8:30 PM $19.50

In 2003 at only 20 years old, her debut album Frank took many critics and fans by surprise with its fearless sincerity and rich sound. Bringing new life to territory with a recent history of bland sound, Amy's brash candor and unique sense of humour certified her as a new force among female singers and songwriters.

Frank went on to sell platinum, and the album garnered Winehouse nominations for two Brit Awards as well as a nomination for the Mercury Music Prize.On the heels of her first success, Winehouse felt it was necessary to take her sound in new directions. Abandoning the complex chord structures, and under the influence of female pop groups from the '50s and '60s, she began to conceive a sound that was more direct and straightforward.

Her most recent release, 2006's Back to Black displays this attitude completely. With an upbeat sound reminiscent of the Motown greats, coupled with a distinct fearlessness as a songwriter, Winehouse manages to touch upon life's most important issues – love, friendship, vice, empowerment – without seeming the least bit contrived. The lead single "Rehab" pairs a stomp-driven funk beat into a drunken gospel choir echoing Amy's feelings on people trying to correct her lifestyle – "No, no no." The album also contains "I'm No Good", a complicated love confessional that was also collaborated with by Ghostface Killah on his most recent release More Fish.

On an album that may draw comparisons to Macy Gray, Lauryn Hill or Sarah Vaughn upon first listen, Amy Winehouse is sure to define herself as one of a kind by the time Back to Black finishes playing.
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