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4.5 out of 5 stars
Back To Black
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 August 2011
First thing I noticed about this Album was the fact that it was just thirty-five minutes long - a plus for me, since I'm so tired of over-long and boring Albums geared to make us think we are getting more for our money... (more rubbish perhaps!) This Album does anything but bore the Listener, and Amy Winehouse certainly knew the key was to have short bursts of quality instead of 'gimmicky' over-long trash!

Like many I suppose, I am not ashamed to say I purchased this Album since her death - but not for that reason alone; I had in fact been on the point of purchasing it for some time, but her constant feature in the News for all the wrong reasons, I guess I held off. However; as the saying goes; something good always comes out of something tragic, and I imagine that there will be many more who did not know or appreciate Amy until her untimely death... Packed with eleven great catchy numbers which simply spell 'talent', 'quality' and 'pure listening pleasure'.

As someone old enough to recall several decades of different styles of music; I feel Ms. Winehouse probably born out of her time. Her sound and style would have been perfectly at home had she been around during both the sixties and the seventies - proper songs with choruses and verses, and with some just over a couple of minutes in length - lovely - and just how I like it!

At just half an hour- this Album is utterly perfect and will be played often by many!

God Bless Amy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 April 2008
This version of the album includes a second disc containing some well chosen cover versions ("Cupid" being the most memorable), although Amy leans a bit too heavily on the ska style for my liking. That said, it's definitely worth checking out this version rather than the earlier one that's still available (particularly when it's such a short album by modern standards).

There's probably not much that can be said about "Back To Black" that hasn't been said already. It's a fantastic album, certainly a big confident leap forward from "Frank" (which could really have been an EP for the number of decent songs on there). The only slight criticism I would make is the shamelessly retro style of the production - the Sixties vibe has been re-created so slavishly, sometimes to the detriment of the songs. But this is a minor point really.

If you've only heard the singles from this album, you might be surprised at how dark it all is. Whereas "Frank" was largely exhuberant and joyous, this is a fairly bleak album in terms of lyrics and themes.

In my opinion Amy Winehouse is the best thing to happen to British pop in years, so let's hope that whatever demons she wrestles with in her personal life don't put a stop to what could be a brilliant career.
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2007
Now I love the Winehouse - as much a description as it is a name these days - and I think 'Back To Black' is a fantastic modern soul record that I would not hesitate to award five stars. Amy's voice sounds phanominal on her second album and Mark Ronson's production - despite, as we have seen with his own album 'Versions', adding horns to things being the only thing he can do - brings these wonderful songs to life. But when the major labels start reissueing deluex/ultimate/limited/+DVD editions of successful abums it makes me despare, especially as this new version is so damn amazing! I love Winehouse's take on 'Valerie', and I've seen her perform 'Monkey Man' on television and that was great too, as is everything she does.

Granted, 'Back To Black' couldn't have been released like this a year ago, but why couldn't there have been another version with just the bonus disc and the sexy sexy packaging - for about £7 - then fans who bought the album when it first came out aren't being ripped off? I'll tell you why, because that's not the way to make money. Editions like this are proof that the only thing the big labels care about is empying our wallets.

If you don't own 'Back To Black', then do yourself a favor and get this Deluxe Edition, it's too awesome not to be bought! HOWEVER, having said that, if like me you've already owned the album for nearly a year, then don't you even dare touch that wallet sunshine; consider it a partial boycott! It wouldn't have taken much to release two versions of this, one with and one without the original album, or perhaps the bonus disc could have been included with the DVD (also out in time for Christmas folks).
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 28 November 2007
Amy Winehouse never appeared on my radar, but she now has a place on my favourites list via this album. Quite simply, this is an excellent album - a stew of Soul/old school R&B, jazz, rock and old fashioned pop.

Rehab was the song that prompted me to listen to AW, and it is one of the best here, but there's other tracks as good - in particular, "You Know That I'm No Good" and "Tears Dry On Their Own", which uses the intro form Marvin Gaye's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". My own personal favourite has become "Love Is A Losing Game" a restrained and aching vocal over a spare orchestral track.

All in all,Amy's vocal performance is never less than impressive, interpreting the equally impressive material perfectly. With this 2 disc special edition, there's the addition of the excellent version of "Valerie", which has been released as a single, plus the reggae infused "Cupid" and others, as well as alternate versions of the albums original tracks, all of which just add to the view that Amy is a major talent. I just hope she can get back to making great music after her well publicised recent problems.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2007
This deluxe version sounds better on a decent system because it is far less compressed than the standard edition; if only we always had a choice between "hot, mastered for mp3" versions and dynamic versions.

More please.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2014
The album gets 5 stars for the music, but losses 3 stars for the sound. The sound stage is small and the music and vocals are on the thin side. The album went straight on my reject pile before it even fished playing through side one. I've heard the producers deliberately made the vinyl sound "old style". Who on earth makes their music deliberately sound bad?!? The woman's got a great voice, it should be flaunted, not hidden. Anyway, I'm listening to the album as an mp3 and it actually sounds a lot better. Not sure if it's because the production was different, or whether the sound through ear-buds and the car stereo can't pick up the mess they made of it that my main system can hear. Save your money and pray someone else does a proper job in the future.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2007
I cannot rave enough about this album - it's the most refreshing thing you will listen to this year. Amy Winehouse takes a traditional music form and makes it her own (with the help of a group of very talented musicians). At first listen you find elements of jazz, reggae and soul and by the second, the incisive lyrics sink in and you realise this is a very modern woman's world. By the time you've listened to it the third time (and become completely addicted) you realise that every story she tells is way older than the style of music it is put to. This album oozes sexiness without losing any of the lyrical genius - this girl deserves to be big. Buy this album and play it a lot!
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2007
I borrowed this CD from my daughter for a car journey. I had almost dismissed it from the start thinking that the generation gap was probably a mile long! Was I ever so wrong! Man! From the first note to the last I was enveloped in such a rich sound, I hadn't heard anything like this for years. First up, the band sound like they've been playing for years, wow what lush arrangements! The backing singers...fantastic! Then to top it all, here comes Amy! I know absolutely nothing about Amy aside from the fact that she likes a good drink and had a brawl off camera on the Jules Holland show. That voice...I was in seventh heaven with this CD. My God, I'm going to have to listen to more of my daughter's taste in music!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 22 November 2007
For some reason this version sounds so much better than the standard CD version with much more natural sound that suit the vocals much better.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
As another reviewer said - Amy Winehouse hadn't even appeared on my radar. I think all of the hype and gossip put me off listening out for her music. I looked at her and expected that it just wouldn't be my thing (thats what middle age does!)! I heard this album when it was given as a gift to my husband and from first listening, it just blew me away. She is truly out of her time. If she is similar to anyone, its Billie Holiday. No disrespect to Billie (I haven't listened to a lot of her stuff), but Amy's voice seems to me stronger and more versatile. There are also shades of soul and a sprinkle of motown in there.

I listen to this album again and again and never tire of it. Its sexy, powerful, uplifting, moving - it does it all. Any substance misuse problems Amy has are surely her own business and nothing to do with the music. Also lets face it, there is nothing unusual about great talents having such problems - another thing Amy and Billie have in common.
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