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on 8 December 2011
I am 76 years of age. This is one of the best CDs I have had the pleasure to own. It reminds me of the talents of Dinah Washington but is totally Amy Winehouse. The joy is tainted by great sadness. What a great loss. Oh Amy, if only someone could have helped you.
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on 19 December 2011
I just listened to this album for the first time. I'm perhaps not what you might call a regular fan, although I already had Frank, Back to Black and her iTunes festival EP, but I found this collection stunning.
What a fabulous voice, and how nicely this package is done. For me, on of the best albums of the year.
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on 25 May 2012
I loved this CD, it is a lovely tribute to a young person that lost their life so early. Listening to the tracks the quality shines through with her fabulous voice. It is a real tragedy that we will not hear any more of Amy's music, she was a real talent and I think the music on this CD proves it.

Lioness: Hidden Treasures
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on 5 December 2011
"Lioness" consists of 12 previously unreleased archive recordings and alternate takes, compiled by long-time friends and producers including Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, in the wake of her death this July, aged just 27.
In the wrong hands, this might have been a slapdash collection, but "Lioness" is presented with genuine tenderness and it never paints Winehouse as a tragic diva stereotype.
The focus, quite rightly, is her vocal talent - not just its soulful power but also its stylistic range. And while there's an obvious melancholy in hearing Winehouse's tones again, there's also dreamy warmth, demonstrated by the opening reggae version of "Our Day Will Come" (originally by 1960s group Ruby & The Romantics Our Day Will Come: the Very Best of Ruby & the Romantics).
Some of these tracks predate Winehouse's 2003 debut album, "Frank": there's her jazzy teenage take on "The Girl From Ipanema" and the arguable stand-out, elegant original soul melody "Halftime" (dating back to 2002).
Her casual charm and command elevates the familiar covers, whether it's The Shirelles' "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" or another reworking of The Zutons' "Valerie".
There are also curious collaborations: Like "Smoke" is infused with Nas's rap homage to his Camden 'homie', while Winehouse's final studio recording is "Body & Soul", a vintage jazz cut with 85 year old crooner Tony Bennett.
Essentially, the material on "Lioness" should have been a foundation, not a memorial, but it feels like a passionate affair.
The end notes are sweet, full of unmistakeable personality and resonance. A Haider

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on 26 December 2011
"Lioness: Hidden Treasures" is the first collection of unreleased music and demos since the untimely death of Amy Winehouse in 2011. Expectations were high, especially after her second album "Back to Black" became the second highest selling album of the century so far. This CD, thankfully, lives up to and exceeds all those expectations.

It kicks off with one of the best songs on the album, a cover of a 60's soul classic "Our Day Will Come". It was recorded whilst Amy was living in the mediterranean, and the reggae/calipso influences come through strong, making the track unique and giving the album a distinct sound from her previous two.
"Between the Cheats" follows this, and was intended for Amy's third album. It is a 50's throwback track with the retro doo-wap sound that Amy loved so much. Her vocal here isn't the strongest on the album, and does sound incomplete, but this is understandable (it was just a demo) and even when Amy's only singing at 70% she still sounds fantastic. A really good, catchy track.
"Tears Dry". The original recording of what became a huge hit of the "Back to Black" album. Here the song is a smooth soul ballad, wheras the released version was an upbeat Motown-influenced track. It works really well in this original version, and is very pretty and also incredibly sad, with Amy's performance subtle but emotionally charged.
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" Amy's cover of this 60's classic is poignant and perhaps the best vocal on the album. This track was actually completed in an acoustic version, but here Mark Ronson gives it a 60's soul remix which works well with the rest of the album.
"Like Smoke" features rapper Nas and is a modern jazz tinged song with a rap chorus half way through. It's unusual on the first listen, but it grows on you with repeat listens. The lyrics are very deep and thoughtful, and show why Amy was such a remarkable talent.
"Valerie" (68' Version). The remixed version of Valerie with Mark Ronson was a huge hit for Amy when released, but for the first time the unreleased original track is presented here. It's a slower tempo, but still upbeat and a good listen. Amy would always perform this version in her live concerts, and acording to Mark preferred this over the released track.
"The Girl From Ipanema". Another cover version, and maybe the best of all on the album. She does a unique take on the jazz standard, making it totally her own. I was amazed to find out she was only 18 when it was recorded. A stand out track.
"Half Time" this song comes from the recording sessions for "Frank" and is a beautiful acoustic led ballad. Amy has rarely sounded better than she does on this track, possibly why it is the favourite track of her father Mitch Winehouse.
"Wake Up Alone Demo". An acoustic version of the "Back to Black" song. Not quite as effective as the completed version, but the song and lyrics are so strong that it's still a fantastic track.
"Best Friends, Right?" from 2003 "Frank" sessions, although it sounds very much like it could have been from the "...Black" album. A really nice, memorable song.
"Body and Soul" duet with Tony Bennet. Not the best of the songs here, but interesting as Amy's final recording session. She sounds great, and the song is a classic, but not quite as memorable as the others on the album.
"A Song For You" cover of Leon Russell track, and the perfect close for the album. Amy makes it sound like she could have written the song herself.

The entire CD is packaged beautifully, with great publicity shots of Amy from her time in the Meditteranean. Also the liner notes by Mark Ronson and SaLaAm ReMi are touching and informative (background info as well as lyrics are provided for each song).
A really nicely put together tribute to a lost talent, which could have easily been a cash-in album, but instead plays as a fantastic altogether album and continues Amy's musical legacy.

(Also, £1 from each sale of the album is donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation Charity).
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on 13 December 2011
Even though I am an Amy fan I feel I shall have to assume to role of Devil's Advocate. I bought this album in good faith, with the understanding that like so many other posthumous releases it may be a little raw. I think Mitch Winehouse's assertion, that it stood comparison with her two previous releases: Frank and Back To Black while understandable, was inaccurate. For a start Lioness: Hidden Treasures was only partially Amy's work. She was both a prodigy and a perfectionist and I simply do not feel this album would have been up to her exacting musical standards. Our Day Will Come was a genuinely plesant surprise as were the original version of Tears Dry and Wake Up Alone. The rest of it was O.K but I found the overly elaborate arrangement on Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? and A Song For You, actually detracted from her vocal. If Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi had decided to keep it simple and allowed her voice to shine, conceeding that this is a DEMO album I think I would have enjoyed it for what it was. The fact is Amy decided against releasing these songs because SHE wasn't satisfied with them. Amy wrote in a very autobiographical and narrative style, her two previous albums had a linear chronology which was lacking in this release. It feels like what it is, an assortment of the producers favourite demos selected from several years of accumulated material. Not being an executive at Island records I have no idea if Amy had assembled the skeleton of a brand new album or if she simply recorded what she felt like, when she was feeling up to it. To draw a comparison with another artist, Buddy Holly died in an accident at the peak of his powers, leaving a number of impressive demos which were later polished up and released to general acclaim. Amy had been ill for some time which is also sadly noticable on some of the later tracks. Only time will tell what releases will be made in the future by her estate. I somehow doubt she would be happy with them. Taking the rough with the smooth it was nice to hear some better known songs in embyronic form and see the creative process in action. Also some of the proceeds from the album sales go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, a legacy, which I feel would have been far more likely to meet with her approval.
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on 7 December 2011
Whoever put together this FABULOUS compilation was a genius, and THANK YOU so much for the release. Brilliant, wonderful, haunting, soulful - I'm running out of adjectives, but it's pure Amy and what a criminal waste if this priceless material had not come to light. Can't stop playing it . . . blissful.
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on 16 July 2012
A brilliant album and a must for any Amy Winehouse fan. The more cynical of us would see this as a typical record industry cash in on another dead star. Not quuite that, just simply a collection brilliant songs recorded at different stages throughout her career and personally chosen by Mark Ronson who worked so closely with her. So this is not some rag taggle collection of B side rejections pulled togther by some record company suit to make more money (As so many are) But in fact a brilliant album of stunning songs both original and cover. Thankfully this is a fitting tribute to a unique voice and I love it. And so will you.
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on 21 February 2015
Thanks to advances in storage technology, meaning that out-takes and unused recordings are rarely disposed of, the death of a recording artist no longer means the end of their output. This is especially true when an artist is taken in the process of recording something new, such as with Michael Jackson and, more recently and at an even younger age, Amy Winehouse. However, rather than just benefitting her estate, some of the profits from "Lioness: Hidden Treasures", are to go to the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which was set up by her father.

Winehouse was certainly a rising star, with her second album "Back to Black" winning 5 Grammy Awards in the United States, reaching platinum status for sales in more than 20 countries and being the best selling album of 2007 in the United Kingdom. As her musical success soared, so her personal life became more difficult, with a troubled marriage, several arrests for common assault and various addictions troubling her. Her death prompted renewed sales interest in her two albums, as it had for Michael Jackson's back catalogue and so a final collection seemed inevitable.

This wonderful album shows two things that really stuck out to me. The first was the tone of many of the recordings here. Most of the songs are down-tempo tracks with a very relaxed groove. This makes this the perfect album to be listening to on a dark evening after a tough day, with a glass of wine by your side and the lights turned down low. It seems strange that someone with such a hectic and disordered life outside her music could produce something so laid back and chilled out as this album.

The second thing that grabbed me at the end of the album is what a talent we have lost. Winehouse may have hastened her own downfall and upset a number of people along the way, but this album remains as proof that she had a wonderful voice. This album takes 12 tracks and 45 minutes to truly showcase how good she was and how good she could have continued to be, had she only lived. If you're a Winehouse fan, or a fan of relaxing music, this is the perfect album for you. She will certainly be missed, but what a legacy she has left here.

This review may also appear, in whole or in part, under my name at any or all of www.ciao.co.uk, www.thebookbag.co.uk, www.goodreads.com, www.amazon.co.uk and www.dooyoo.co.uk
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 7 March 2013
I have all the rest of Amy's available recordings but delayed purchasing Lioness until now expecting something very much second league, not on a par with Back To Black. If you too have deferred buying this posthumous release, I'd urge you to invest in it now as you'll probably deem it much better than the mixed reviews led you to believe. There are a couple of weaker tracks - to my ears, 'Girl From Ipanema' and 'I Only Want To Be With You' but even these are not without merit. A less than stupendous Amy product is, after all, likely to be about ten times superior to a 'failed' album by any one of her contemporaries.
One thing I really liked about Lioness is the way in which to me it seems to foreshadow what the more mature Winehouse vocal approach may have encompassed had she lived. If you believe that in singing there's no room for less than perfect diction or phrasing or whatever, well tell that to Robert Zimmerman. Where the word sounds are less than crisp, on Lioness I reckon what comes out strong and balances it all up is raw and real emotion - still controlled but at times seeming impressionistic, like a painting, an abstract of how it feels to be alive. The voice becomes truly an instrument, all centred on the sound and less directly upon its meaning.
'Best Friends, Right?' is a searingly honest account of a one sided love gone west - it will make you wince. There is humour here too - as always with Amy. There is a very rich seam of Amy to be mined here. All it takes is for you to open your ears and your mind.
In this increasingly cynical world where the 'right' response is sadly all too often the sneer, I actually believe those responsible for producing this album did so entirely for the right reasons. They were keen to give something to Amy's many fans but I think they also cared very much that her rightly stellar reputation as a vocalist should not be sullied by the release of a sub-standard album. Here we have the voice but also an intimation of Amy's vulnerability. In my view, it is that vulnerability which so informs her work to raise it to levels unsurpassed by any vocalist of recent times.
You could say I like this a lot. Listen to it, don't compare it to Amy's other albums. You might like it too.
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