Tony Bennett is apparently a great admirer of Amy Winehouse’s vocal talent.
I actually wish she would have sung it a little more straight. Most of her songs should have been held down a little tighter, in my opinion. Embellishment by a powerful female vocalist is a fantastic thing, but usually Amy Winehouse sounds to me like embellishment that has lost sight of what it was supposed to be embellishing. It’s like, “I can’t remember what song I’m supposed to be singing because I’m so blasted, but here, I’ll give you this pure soul vibe to go with it anyway.”
I didn’t follow Amy Winehouse too much when she was alive, but knew she was a prodigious vocal talent. As a rule, I admire the noble line of female vocalists, most notably Billy Holiday and Janis Joplin, that were just too thermonuclear to live side by side with us mere mortals, and went out in melting flames. But Billy and Janis at least had their own songs nailed down.
I’ve been doing a hunt for Amy Winehouse clips here since my blog mentor Nightsky introduced me to Kimbra. Kimbra reminded me a lot of Amy Winehouse, not in terms of music since her style is much more subdued, but in terms of face, height, body type, mouth, hair, a lot of things. In my hunt for Amy Winehouse clips, I found the live ones painful to watch because they were train wrecks. You almost feel bad for the musicians, who are put in a moral quandary of having to play with her and thus sort of enable the slow, certain self-destruction. The produced music videos put me off because they do more or less the same thing, just with greater production values, plus, they push this all-in-for-continual-debauchery thing at me so hard that it in the end it seems forced every time. In short, to watch Amy Winehouse is to watch a defiant cry for help. The fact that she oozes sexuality from every pore nonstop makes the experience more uncomfortable. Maybe I should just look for audio only versions so as not to get distracted from the music, and then I could find out what’s there.
RIP, Amy. I would like to have had a whole lot more of your music to listen to.