Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to Black

I fell hard for Amy Winehouse in 2007, documented here. Since her death by overdose earlier this weekend I've been in Facebook status update arguments over her talent, that although she died at age 27 like Janis Joplin, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and probably a few others I've missed, she's not worthy to share their bandstand in the afterlife. It's enough to put me off taste wars for life.

Here's the woman who kicked off the nouveau soul revolution, who blew open the radio doors for Joss Stone, Duffy, Sharon Jones (they shared the same band, The Dap-Kings), Adele and, up next, Haley Reinhart. She had two less albums than Janis and maybe didn't have the cultural impact, but what recording star does these days, with pop music so fragmented? She was the subject of much tabloid journalism and chased by paparazzi, which means enough people were interested, but more importantly, she set a direction for her music early on, talking in interviews how she found pop music so flat and bland, and brought some earthy retro values with up-to-date lyrics.

Tragically, she wasn't bright enough to escape her addiction, instead letting it take her to an early grave. Since she was such a mess it's fodder for dark comedy, like when her mother (Janis, whoa, a pharmacist, ouch!) is quoted as saying, "She seemed out of it."

I thought her breast augmentation a year or so ago was the real beginning of the end. A pop star who has already made it doesn't need them for her career, unless she is pathologically insecure. But Amy rarely looked healthy in body, at least not after the music videos for her breakthrough Back to Black album. And I'm sure make-up and lighting helped.

It seems almost triumphant that Lindsay Lohan has survived Amy Winehouse, but she doesn't seem to be an opiate addict, so unless there's a heart problem found by the cocaine or a drunken car crash (which will probably kill others and leave her alive), she may be looking at a much slower demise. In any case, it seems only fitting to post a link (embedding disabled) to the poor little Jewish girl from London's most popular tune, pleasurably defiant, but in the end contradicted by life itself, Rehab.

Shoulda gone.

Yes, yes, yes.

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