(courtesy of Amy Winehouse)
Fresh from her triumphant performance at the Brits where she picked up the British Female Solo Artist award, Amy Winehouse has her much anticipated new single, "Back To Black", released on April 16th through Island Records. The single is the title track from Amy's stunning album "Back To Black", which this week re-gained the no. 1 slot, and looks set to go triple -platinum in a matter of weeks with sales fast approaching the 900,000 mark. Amy is currently in the middle of her sell-out UK tour which will be followed by her first ever US tour. The American dates kick off with a sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City where Amy will also mark her US television debut with a performance on the David Letterman Show.
It's been a fantastic few months for Amy since the release, at the end of October '06, of her anthemic single "Rehab". "Rehab" entered the chart at no. 7 and was followed by "Back To Black" which was released to universal acclaim and finished the year topping many end of year polls. A second single, "You Know I'm No Good", featuring Ghostface Killah, was released in January and gave Amy her second big hit. Two Brit nominations, a South Bank Show award and an Elle Style award followed before Amy scooped the British Best Female last week at Earl's Court. Amy's live shows feature songs drawn from her platinum debut "Frank" and "Back To Black". "Frank" established Amy as one of the most exciting and challenging artists in pop music, and "Back To Black" proves, beyond any reasonable or unreasonable doubt, what a truly remarkable talent she is. Winehouse's song-writing and fearlessness as a lyric writer has been grafted onto some of the most astonishing material of her short career so far. "Back To Black" sees her teaming up once again with "Frank" producer Salaam Remi and, for the first time, with New Yorker Mark Ronson (Lily Allen, Robbie Williams and Christina Aguilera).
Two years ago, following the success of "Frank", Amy began thinking about what she'd like to do with her second record. "Frank" was her grand and suitably blunt-speaking break-up record, and it won her a battalion of fans around the world, marking her out as one of the most distinct new voices in pop; confessional, elemental and with that rarest of combinations: humour and soul. "I didn't want to play the jazz thing up too much again. I was bored of complicated chord structures and needed something more direct. I'd been listening to a lot of girl-groups from the fifties and sixties. I liked the simplicity of that stuff. It just gets to the point." You can hear it on the subtley Supremes-referencing intro of "Back To Black". But her reach stretches further. While the girl-groups of the sixties to which she had become enthralled contained their vocals, Amy can break loose with Aretha-style vocal stylings on "Just Friends" or by turning the whole idea of drying out into a gospel spiritual on the stunning opener "Rehab". "Love is a Losing Game" is pure classic modern song-writing: brief, to the point and drenched in emotion. Other highlights include the Nas inspired "Me and Mr Jones", the beautiful "Wake Up Alone", "I'm No Good", the personal epiphany that you can behave just as badly as all those guys that have messed you around and stamped all over you, and the bluesy smooch of the title track, "Back To Black".