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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is worth 5 stars
Like most people (I guess) I bought this album after the more recent Back to Black. Some say it's better, some say not as good. I can't quite decide either way, which should tell you one thing: it's excellent. The simple advice is that if you enjoyed B2B you'll enjoy this just as much. Don't hesitate. In some ways it's more honest, even though I'm not sure what I mean by...
Published on 7 Jun 2008 by OEJ

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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Edition only worth it for diehard fans
Plenty of others have written helpful summaries of the original album 'Frank', so my contribution is to provide a review of the new 'Super Deluxe Edition', packaged as a box set with a new 17-track bonus disc of 'previously unreleased radio sessions, rare demos and mixes'. This new edition is no doubt aimed mainly at dedicated fans, who will already own the album itself;...
Published on 13 May 2008 by Veronica Marwood


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Edition only worth it for diehard fans, 13 May 2008
This review is from: Frank (Deluxe Edition) (Audio CD)
Plenty of others have written helpful summaries of the original album 'Frank', so my contribution is to provide a review of the new 'Super Deluxe Edition', packaged as a box set with a new 17-track bonus disc of 'previously unreleased radio sessions, rare demos and mixes'. This new edition is no doubt aimed mainly at dedicated fans, who will already own the album itself; the problem is that dedicated fans will also already own most of the 'rare' songs included here.

Of the tracks featured on the bonus disc, only a handful are genuinely 'new', and all but one have been heard before in some form. Admittedly, that one unheard song - a cover of the Gershwin classic 'Someone to Watch Over Me' - is absolutely gorgeous, truly sounding like it could be a lost 1930s jazz club recording. The other demos are interesting to hear, and act as a timely reminder of how incredible Winehouse's vocal talent actually is. However, the remainder of the material isn't quite as exciting. 'What It Is' is described here as an 'original demo', but as far as I can tell, it's identical to the version used as a B-side on the single 'Stronger Than Me'. The remixes have all been featured on past singles, and I'm baffled as to why two mediocre B-sides have been included while the beautiful acoustic number 'Best Friends' - a fan favourite, and surely her best ever B-side - has been left out. The live tracks and radio sessions are nice, but even for hardcore fans, they're significantly less than thrilling.

It's hard not to feel that, in the absence of any new material from the troubled singer, this collection has been hastily cobbled together to capitalise on the success of 'Back to Black', not to mention Winehouse's continued tabloid notoriety. If you're a huge fan, you're bound to want this new edition anyway, out of curiosity or completism; but if you're a newcomer to Amy's music, my advice is to buy 'Back to Black' (undoubtedly her greatest work and a true modern classic) and then the original, one-disc version of 'Frank' - you can pick up both on Amazon for less than this box set costs.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, this is worth 5 stars, 7 Jun 2008
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
Like most people (I guess) I bought this album after the more recent Back to Black. Some say it's better, some say not as good. I can't quite decide either way, which should tell you one thing: it's excellent. The simple advice is that if you enjoyed B2B you'll enjoy this just as much. Don't hesitate. In some ways it's more honest, even though I'm not sure what I mean by that! AFAIK Frank was Amy Winehouse's first album, and as a result presumably a lot of people, myself included, missed it completely. Unfortunately all of the high-profile publicity about her private life has drawn attention from a vastly wider audience than might otherwise have been the case, but surely there's no denying that, before the downhill slide, she had genuine talent and she's not just a top-class singer but a great songwriter too - she was at least partly responsible for writing most of the songs here.

One niggle though. Why is it a good idea to make songs sound as if you're listening to a scratchy vinyl record? It's evident on four tracks: Stronger Than Me, Cherry, There Is No Greater Love, and parts of the 13-minute final track Amy Amy Amy. I had the same complaint with an Alicia Keys album, and there are many others. It's distracting and it just makes the whole listening experience less satisfying. What on earth is the point? I wish this 'fashion' would stop.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gets the angle right, 11 May 2005
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
Frank is a wonderful debut album. It is a jazz album with edge both musically and lyrically: a welcome and much needed reminder that jazz does not need to be bland, it is fantastic on every level.
The music is primarily soul inflected jazz but also drawing on a host of other influences including funk and even blues. The musical arrangements are quite simple and sparse but atmospheric and effective. Amy Winehouse has a strong, husky voice which brings the songs to life and is able to convey feeling and strong emotion.
The songs chart the course of a failed relationship with a few other barbs thrown in for good measure. The lyrics, mainly written by Amy Winehouse herself, are personal, scabrous and occasionally very funny. The material has a refreshing emotional honesty spiced with arrogance, bile and spite but, fortunately, lacking in sentimentality or self-pity. The album is packed with great songs including the excellent 'Stronger than me' is a lament about the weakness of her over educated new man boyfriend; 'I Heard Love Is Blind' a confession/justification for her infidelity ('he looked liked you', 'I was thinking of you', 'it couldn't tell, it was dark and I was lying down'), 'F**k me Pumps', an attack on shallow party girls ('At least your breasts cost more than hers') amongst others.
Amy Winehouse has gained some notoriety through some entertaining, if loud mouthed, TV appearances (most notably on Never Mind the Buzzcocks) and some negative press coverage for her unladylike behaviour. She may not be the most appealing person in the world and clearly being her boyfriend carries some risks (unless you like being pilloried in song). However, this does not change the fact that she is a fantastic singer/songwriter. She is often bracketed with the other 'new' British Jazz 'sensations': Joss Stone, Katie Melua & Jamie Cullum. I guess that this is because they are all relatively recent arrivals on the music scene and they have all been labelled jazz singers. This is not a particularly sensible or useful classification - Amy Winehouse has passion and edge - this is a much more interesting album than anything the other three have produced (or are likely to produce).
Amy Winehouse apparently believes that no men bought her album. Sorry to disappoint her but at least one did and he loves it.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 5 May 2004
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
I bought this CD on a whim without properly hearing any of the songs on it, and to my suprise it has turned out to be one of the best (if not THE best) albums I own. Amy Winehouse is an amazing new talent and it is unbelievable that at the age of just 19 she has produced such a fine collection of songs. Her voice is incredible, especially on tracks such as Stronger Than Me (the album's standout), You Sent Me Flying and Take The Box.
Other strong tracks include the witty F**k Me Pumps, which attacks those vacuous party girls who are famous for being famous ("Every week it gets worse/With your big empty purse/ At least your breasts cost more than hers" - miaow!); I Heard Love Is Blind, where she sings a hilarious confession of infidelity; and the simply beautiful (There Is) No Greater Love. Know You Now is the only song that I really don't like, probably because it seems a little bland compared to the others, but the rest of the album is fantastic and definitely benefits from repeat listenings.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend this album to anyone who appreciates soul/jazz, or fans of mainstream rnb who are looking for something a bit different. Amy Winehouse is a welcome antidote to all the manufactured pop 'music' that has invaded the airwaves thanks to the likes of Simon Cowell, and although she has been critically acclaimed and nominated at the Brit Awards, it seems a shame to me that she hasn't recieved more attention and airplay as she truly deserves it.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Amy, Amy, Amy" playing in my head., 17 July 2007
By 
Larry D (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
I got Back to Black after Amy was on the cover of Rolling Stone, and loved it immediately. I neither drink nor drug, but I find myself singing "Rehab" while rinsing the dinner dishes. We're still waiting for the "official" release of Frank here in the US of A, but I managed to get my hands on it. How is it that a girl so young can dish out two albums this good? In its own way, Frank is every bit as wonderful as Back to Black. There isn't a bad track here (though I think there should be a moratoriam on "Moody's Mood for Love" -- enough, already). Odd that she'd plant "hidden tracks" in the middle of an album, but she's obviously not your run-of-the-mill girl, is she? My favorite cut? Well, I change my mind every few hours -- right now it's "Amy, Amy, Amy" which is currently playing in my head ...
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtakingly Real Music., 11 Nov 2004
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
Refreshingly honest lyrics and the most unique voice you've ever heard, 'Frank' has got to be the most addictive album of the year.
Mixing jazz, hip-hop, soul and a whole host of other genres, the music comes right from the heart of this straight up London girl.
You'll find it almost impossible not to fall in love with her sassy, sultry and exciting debut, which with its own sound like nothing you've ever heard before, can only be described as pure Amy.
One of the most amazing new talents in years, its easy to see why she is already being mentioned in the same breath as Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan and Erykah Badu. Once you've listened to Amy, the other current "nu-jazz" kids simply fail to impress and pale in comparison.
Great balance of material including some brutal 'tell it like it is' tracks, ('You Sent Me Flying', 'Take The Box', 'In My Bed', 'What Is It About Men'), a few hilariously entertaining ones, ('F*ck me pumps', 'Cherry', 'I Heard Love Is Blind'), some you can't get out of your head, ('Stronger Than Me', 'Moodys Mood For Love', 'Help Yourself') and even a song about the death of her pet canary! ('October Song'). Extra tracks are equally as credit worthy and it almost feels criminal not to mention the rest!
An absolute gem for your collection and a must have for your soul!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amy Winehouse - A rare talent, 25 July 2011
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This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
When Frank debuted in 2003, I was shocked, in a nice way. There was, and still is, so much mediocrity in the music world, with 'artists' pandering to their record company's whims, mostly due to lack of talent. Amy Winehouse, however, did not give a care about contemporary music; with her beautiful jazzy, soulful voice she was able to create music that stood out from the crowd, a homage to honest music, sung with sincerity, and played from the heart. On first listen you may think, it's OK, but persevere, and the songs synchronise themselves with your soul. Some may find some of the songs complex, but they're the ones you will never tire of, and sadly, we'll never get hear this angel's voice again. Dare I say it, but I enjoyed this album more so than Back To Black, which, in its own right is a great record. Just buy this album - YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miles Ahead Of The Competition!!, 5 Nov 2006
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This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
I picked this up from Sainsbury's one wet winter evening in 2005,and boy was I blown away!

I'm aware that our Amy garners many comparisons with the 'modern' pseudo-jazz singers of current times,but comparing Amy with some of them is like comparing a tin of Aldi beans with the same M and S product!

She really is in a league of her own, and sings with conviction,guts and honesty.The rude words add a little fiery spice to the proceedings,and don't sound as though they were thrown in for shock effect!

My fave tracks? I would like to list them all,but seeing as I'm in the middle of eating tea,here are my immediately obvious choices;

Take The Box-Slinkily seductive and seedy at the same time,

Help Yourself-A qurky little tune that refuses to leave my brain!;

Stronger Than Me- A straight-up plea to her man to be the man in the relationship!

What Is It About Men?- Another ode to Amy's favourite subject-Modern and traditional,mature yet wanton

Amy Amy Amy-With big bongo beats-Gets me dancing in the kitchen every time

Immerse yourself in the world of Amy Winehose-It's addictively fantastic

and naughtily brilliant!(Is naughtily a real word?-Whatever!!)
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out Alicia, Erykah etc....., 10 Jan 2004
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
Heard the great Take the box on JazzFM and just had to get more. Now I have the album, what a great decision! The voice is pure silk jazz tinged with a little RnB and soul. There isn't a bad track on the album. Cheeky, fresh lyrics tell it like it is and there is so much going for this album. Will be interesting to hear the follow-up. Amy sounds like a mixture of Alicia Keys/Erykah Badu stirring in a little Billie H or Nina Simone. She is supported by a great backing band especially the sax which compliments and enrichs the smooth delivery.
Get this while its hot......!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankly fantastic, 4 Oct 2011
This review is from: Frank (Audio CD)
To see Amy play live was at the top of my to do list..I also meant to buy this CD ages ago. I was a fan of hers as soon as I bought Black to Black when it came out, and only then did I realise she had had a singing career going on for some time. Unfortunately I only got to buy Frank after Amy passed away, but I am so glad I did. What a fabulous album! It contains songs Amy wrote about her life at that time, she was so clever and funny which is portrayed in her song lyrics. I definitely discovered a side to her I didn't know before. The words are so much more upbeat than her later music, but just as impressive. She was a girl with many emotions which provided her with excellent song writing material, happy, funny or sad. You will be so missed Amy, but your talent lives on in your music. An album well worth buying!
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