Amy Winehouse Frank on 2LP
Much can be said about the late Amy Winehouse, one of the U.K.'s flagship vocalists during the 2000s. The British press and tabloids seemed to focus on her rowdy behavior, afflictions and tragic end, but fans and critics alike embraced her rugged charm, brash sense of humor, and distinctively soulful and jazzy vocals.
Her platinum-selling breakthrough album, Frank (2003), elicited comparisons ranging from Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan to Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill. Interestingly enough, despite her strong accent and vernacular, one can often hear aspects of each of those singers' vocal repertoire in Winehouse's own voice. Nonetheless, her allure had always been her songwriting - almost always deeply personal but best known for its profanity and brutal candor.
With contributions from hip-hop producer/keyboardist Salaam Remi, Winehouse's amalgam of jazz, pop, soul, and hip-hop received rave reviews. The album was nominated for the 2004 Mercury Music Prize as well as two Brit Awards, and its lead single, "Stronger Than Me," won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song. In 2007 Frank re-entered the charts in the wake of the phenomenal success of her sophomore release, the five times Grammy Award winning chart-topper, Back To Black.