39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Gets the angle right,
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.