Monday, July 25, 2011

Amy's Song

Live fast. Die young. Leave a good looking corpse. For many people this is where their comments on the recent death of Amy Winehouse ends but if you're familiar with more than "Rehab" (trust me, pick any song from either album and it's 100X better) then you might have felt some kinda way about her passing. I was quite saddened when I heard the news on Saturday morning and it has been one of the first thoughts that enter my mind when I wake up every morning since then. She is a mainstay on my iPod and I guess I listen to her music so much and so often that I felt connected to her in some way. She had a voice and presentation that drew you in without ever trying too hard. She never needed to scream to get your attention and, stealing a line from Jadakiss, 'she don't use beats for help, she help the beats'. It was as if she wasn't aware of her immense talent and to her she was just toying around. Her voice always came off with a mystifying air but at the same time very very real. Something that I am pretty sure can only come naturally.

Amy Amy AmyI have never met the woman, much less spoken to her but through her music I felt like I was listening to her in a personal kind of way as she poured out her troubles with unsuccessful love affairs to me. You know, like those times you sit and listen to a friend without needing to say a word...they just need you to listen. Overall, I can't help but feel like she's that close girl-friend that every guy has who calls to complain from time to time about other men. I listen to her venting to me about how her man, seven years older than her, acts like a child on "Stronger Than Me" or, similarly, on "Help Yourself" to the "fuckery" of another on "Me & Mr. Jones". How dare he cause her to miss the Slick Rick show and question her love for him? In a voice that appears saddened by and tired of dealing with men she tells me how she "Wakes up Alone" and eventually breaks up with her guy, insisting that he "Take The Box". Of course, as any man who has had these conversations with women would understand, she ultimately asks the question "What Is It About Men"? Finally, she comes to the conclusion that "Love Is A Losing Game" sounding like one that will never fall for that trick again as she accepts it and comes to the realization that her "Tears Dry On Their Own".
I listen attentively as she tells me she gets back on the horse thinking she is in the "Mood for Love" but scarred by her past experiences she ends up just turning the tables and abusing men with her nonchalance of cheating as she shrugs and sings "I Heard Love Is Blind". She's tries to justify and explain her infidelity by telling her beau things like "You are everything, he means nothing to me. I can't even remember his name", and "I didn't let him hold my hand", and quite hilariously "I was thinking of you when I came". Unable to quell his anger she blames him with "what do you expect? You left me here alone..." I just can't help but feel indifference oozing from her words. She lets another down a little easier by telling him they should be "Just Friends" because although she's not ashamed the guilt will kill him if she [his woman] doesn't do so first. Her divorce form romantic fantasy is cemented as she makes it known that no man should get too comfortable in her bed because she sees them as replaceable toys and eventually the novelty will wear off. She talks about her mastery of separating sex from emotion, reminding her lover that the only time she holds his hand is to "get the angle right". As she laughs she tells me that she always let them know that she is trouble and in her words, "You Know I'm No Good". Sensing that she may be putting too much on my shoulders she lightens the mood by ridiculing the groupie, cookie-cutter hoe types and their "Fuck Me Pumps" and relaying this nice little story about how she cussed out her girlfriend because her boyfriend was always coming over and smoking all her [Amy's] weed. Needless to say, she did not appreciate that. She didn't mind that he smoked it, she just would like him to replace it so that she can get her high too. 

I still love her. Regardless of her addictions and self-destructive lifestyle that many people berate her for I fully appreciate the music she has left with me (and for introducing me to Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings). I am still very sad because with her recent tours I was hoping that she was getting better and would hopefully start recording again. Maybe some of the stuff she was reportedly working on will be released. She most recently recorded with Tony Bennett for his album Duets II to be released on September 20 and was rumored to have done a collaboration with Cee Lo for her new album which was supposed to be out earlier this year, in January (there had been on again/off again mention of this album since a year ago). Clearly this didn't happen and depending on the source you will hear that there is either a "ready-to-be-release album" or some "really great demos"...we'll have to wait and see what the happens in the future but I would love to hear what she was working on.

"not many people have it in them to do something they love, simply because they love it. with no fuss and no compromise. but she knew what she was capable of and didn’t even need to try. if she wanted to do something she would and if she didn’t she’d say fuck off. it came easy to her and that’s why we all loved her so much. we believed every word she wrote, and it would sink in deep when she sang them. Amy paved the way for artists like me and made people excited about british music again whilst being fearlessly hilarious and blase about the whole thing. i don’t think she ever realised just how brilliant she was and how important she is, but that just makes her even more charming. although im incredibly sad about Amy passing im also reminded of how immensely proud of her i am as well. and grateful to be inspired by her. Amy flies in paradise xx" --Adele
[emphasis is mine]

This song will forever remind me of her death. I am renaming it "Amy's Song".

Amy Winehouse - October Song

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