Amy Winehouse

Back to Black (Republic)

Phases & Stages

Amy Winehouse

Back to Black (Republic)

North London's Amy Winehouse is putting the soul back in R&B with the help of New York's Dap-Kings (as in Sharon Jones) and a bottle of whiskey. The Jewish phenom has been churning waves (and tabloids) overseas since the release of her 2003 debut, Frank. Now the 23-year-old's addictive "Rehab" is poised to join the modern grit of Macy Gray with the latter-day growl of Shirley Bassey. And damn, it feels good. Winehouse's sophomore LP, Back to Black, oozes sweat and tears in "Me & Mr. Jones," the shuddering title track, and Motowner "Tears Dry on Their Own." But whoever came up with the plan to match Winehouse's sass and dirt with Ghostface Killah's ghetto rhymes on the closing remix of "You Know I'm No Good" is genius. If Winehouse can walk the (semi) straight and narrow and show up to most of her gigs, this baby's gonna burn stateside for sure.

***.5

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