Thursday, July 28, 2011

Music Thursday: Amy, Amy, Amy edition

There are a few artists that stay in "rotation" on my iPhone: The Black Keys, The Dead Weather, Gossip and Amy Winehouse. I was a dedicated Amy Winehouse fan--and still am. Winehouse's retro soul vibe attracted me (What better backing band than The Dap Kings?), but the lyrics hooked me. Even if tabloids hadn't relentlessly chronicled Amy' addiction and mental illness, it would have been clear to anyone who listened to her lyrics. Her songs revealed open wounds. As a writer, I appreciated her honesty about all the depression and bad choices and self loathing and messiness. As a feminist, I appreciated her willingness to say things that male artists say all the time, but female artists aren't supposed to:

I couldn't resist him
His eyes were like yours
His hair was exactly the shade of brown
He's just not as tall, but I couldn't tell
It was dark and I was lying down

See, in addition to being honest, Winehouse's lyrics were often witty and naughty, besides.

But there is no romanticizing that pain. Carrying the demons Amy Winehouse revealed in her lyrics must have been unbearable. As much as I wanted another album from the Back to Black and Frank singer, I would have preferred that she had gotten the help she needed. And that it hadn't ended like this.

[Note: I'm not sharing Rehab below, because it was actually one of my least favorite of Amy's songs. I think a lot of people thought the tune was catchy and ironic. Catchy, yes. But that song wasn't hipster snark; I think it was the real thinking of an addict. It has always been an uncomfortable listen. More so now.]


Did you have to go to jail? 
Put your house out up for sale? 
Did you get a good lawyer?

Hope you didn't catch a tan. 
Hope you find the right man
who'll fix it for you.


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