Music Review: The Killers and Amy Winehouse

>> Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I was watching the Brit Awards on BBC this weekend, and there were two acts that really touched me. One was of The Killers, they are an American band that plays British music and made it big in the UK. I have seen their latest music video on VH1 called "Read My Mind". They filmed it in Tokyo, and I always give props to people that are willing to experience a different culture and the song was rather beautiful, reminded me of Coldplay. So I got their latest CD, Sam's Town.

The second act that impressed me was a girl by the name of Amy Winehouse. Her voice and style is very sultry, classic and beautiful, a bit like the great Sarah Vaughn and Petula Clark. A lot of people compared her voice to Lauryn Hill, which I get as well. Especially when she was singing the bridge of "Tears Dry On Their Own", the similarity is uncanny. I was watching her performance on YouTube all day yesterday and I'm quite impressed by her talent, her soulfulness and her timing. She seems to be able to control the mood and the melodies like playing with clay, it's genius.

She has published two album so far, one decidedly moody, jazzy album called "Frank", it is published when she was 18. Frank deals with crushes, young love. The perspective is young and sweet but the words and tone are mature and adult at times. The second album was published last year when she was 22 called "back to black", the entire album deals with her break-up with NaS, an egotistic Rapper ten years her senior. The album utilizes the music of 50-60s girl band, and manifests into a classic periodic mood pieces. The name of the title comes from the saying "Once you goes black, you won't go back." further emphasizing her infatuation with the black rapper. The first track of the album "Rehab" is a catchy tune that lead listener straight to the heart of the album, the depression that follows a break up. I have yet to be able to get it out of my head. "Back to Black" is so carefully arranged and her voice in it is so controlled that can easily rival any singers in the portrayed era. "Love Is A Losing Game" and "Tears Dry On Their Own" are gems on their own. I have always thought that legendary talents like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald don't exist in modern days, I guess I'm wrong.

The only regret I have is that the UK bonus track "Addicted" is not included in the US version. Maybe because it deals twith the subject of marijuana and the censors pulled it out of the album. Censorship pisses me off.

Stars are funny, some gets famous and start to change for the worse. Like The Killers, they became arrogant and start insulting other bands for their lack of originality. Forgeting their own music are not that far from other bands, either. Some start doing drugs and drinking. Amy Winehouse has took a liking to the bottles and, apparently, weed. While no study has found that weeds are actually harmful, I am very worried about her drinking. Given, breaking up with an egotistical well-known delusional married player/rapper of another race and country inspires materials and emotions to make good music but what does she really see in NaS? She had cancelled shows and concerts because of her drinker, made a fool of herself on the Charlotte Church show. I really like her, she's so talented and still so young, but I'm worried for her because of the very same reason. The talented ones have a tendency to take their own lives or cease persuing their career and change their aim in life on other pursuit, like Lauryn Hill, and she's an emotional one at that. I think her career is well worth following. I hope for good things to come.

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