On July 23rd, the world lost Amy Winehouse. The millions of fans of her jazzy music and soulful lyrics were left to wonder if we would ever hear her beautiful bluesy voice again. On October 31st, the official Amy Winehouse website posted that a posthumous album of finished, yet previously unreleased music would be available for the public on December 2nd by Island Records.
Although clearly devastated by her untimely passing, this 45 minute CD was almost like a treasure she left for her fans. The CD was appropriately titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
I got the CD the day it was released. Not only has the album not left my CD player, but it has been constantly playing on loop. I have read her biographies and own every piece of music that she has been a part of. I would definitely consider myself a huge fan of hers. I must say that it is horribly depressing that Amy is now part of that dreaded club where everyone is 27, overly talented, and dead. At least she left us these 12 tracks to help ease the pain.
There are songs on the new CD which we have already heard, such as “Valerie” and “Wake Up Alone“. Although we had already heard them, these are different versions of these songs. In fact, the Lioness version of “Wake Up Alone” is much more emotional and literally brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. There are also songs that we have heard before, but not by Amy Winehouse. For instance the 60s and 70s hits “The Girl From Ipanema“, “Our Day Will Come”, “A Song For You” and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” are redone with the Winehouse touch that not only displays immense talent, but also could choke up the most soulless listener. Also, there is a duet with Tony Bennett. And lastly, the new tracks which I absolutely love: “Between the Cheats”, “Half Time”, “Best Friends, Right?” and “Like Smoke”. I must say that this album shows more than the one-dimensional side of Amy Winehouse that the world tried to force on us. Yes, she sings about drug use. Yes, she sings about quarrels and falling outs. Yes, she sings about drinking. But listen closer, and you will get a beautiful life story. Listen to her first album, Frank, then her second “Back to Black” and this final compilation of treasures. She tells a tale of heartache, success, failure, disappointment, love, lust, and overcoming her own demons. A portion of every CD purchased goes to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which is a charity set up by Amy’s parents on what would have been her 28th birthday… so don’t download this one.
I am obviously giving this album a 5/5 rating. I hope that you will all listen to this gem. It is an instant classic.