All the glory that is this album speaks for itself. It is the greatest eulogy ever recorded. It is everything I expected, and had faith in. Each song is a literal treasure that holds priceless artistry. These are the songs that continue to redefine genius, and give witness to talent. These are the songs of Ms. Amy Winehouse’s posthumous, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and they are the songs that will continue to immortalize her.
This album isn’t a headstone, it’s not a requiem and it isn’t a validation. In fact, it’s exactly what it is: a really dope album by a really brilliant artist. It’s true to Ms. Winehouse in every way, even down to the title. Her vocals roar over well instrumented compositions and fantastic production. The first track, “Our Day Will Come”, is a beautiful reggae influenced work. Ms. Winehouse still sings the song of the broken, but does it with a hopeful outlook. “Between the Cheats” is what we loved about Amy – it has a retro composition with a modern day lament. It is well orchestrated and classic in presentation. This is the song Danny Zuko and Sandra D should have broken up to. “Tears Dry” is a slow tempo, more heartfelt version of “Tears Dry On Their Own”, the song previously released on the masterpiece, Back To Black. The version speaks not to the triumph of resilience, but to the reason why any was needed in the first place.
“Wake Up Alone” is another slowed and stripped version of a previously released song. This version captures the soul of Amy, and the despair of loneliness. It’s magnificently performed, and beautifully composed. “Valerie” is the track that helps us understand the relationship between Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson. It is everything these two do best – create terrific music that’s all them. “Like Smoke” is a track that any hip-hop aficionado can appreciate. It keeps its jazz roots, with a heavily produced accompaniment. Nas is absolutely at his best, and Amy, well Amy flavors the record with a reserved spice that hits just at the right places. It continues with a beautifully performed version of “Girl From Ipanema”, and Amy shines brighter than ever as a jazz vocalist here. “Half Time” ventures into R&B/Soul, but does so without being abrasive and calculated. “Body And Soul” is the standout track, and it has little to do with the great Tony Bennett as it has to do with the execution of one of our greatest jazz standards. These two seem like kindred spirits on this track. Then there is Ms. Winhouse’s version of “A Song For You,” which would make Donny Hathaway smile. It’s true to form, but saturated with Amy’s swagg.
This album rocks on more levels than one. Its fantastically crafted with a refined presentation. It surpasses being a homage, and stands as a testament. It is another gem to place on the crown of Ms. Amy Winehouse. A true lioness protects the things she cares most for, and Amy has without a doubt, protected her legacy.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures is available now in music stores everywhere.
- Digo RockZtar