Holy crap, I just looked up and realized Amy Winehouse has been gone for 5 years.
Amy was The Ideal Woman for me as sensitive 20 year old enrolled in art school (circa 2006). The smoky voice, the tattoos, the black and white videos, the sass and sadness in equal amounts… She had the tough exterior I always wanted, with all the vulnerability I always seemed to be feeling.
Listening to her now, the music and persona feel like the perfect match for pole: gritty but pretty; painful but graceful.
I’m sure I’ve included some of her songs in playlist posts before, but I’m on a listening kick today and wanted to share some of my favorite songs of hers to freestyle to.
Things to note:
- How rare is it that we hear a female vocalist expressing herself on matters of sex and men without seeming to be performing some bizarre male gaze version of sexuality? I look at Ariana Grande with her huge hair and tiny shorts batting her plastic-ass lashes and talking about being a dangerous woman and I’m like…. k. Amy always seemed to own herself and her point of view in songs.
- Actual instruments (!!!). My god… I appreciate this so much more after years of electronica crap.
- The warmth and soulfulness in dat voice. Dat VOICE. It sounds like a cup of coffee and a cigarette on a partially sunlit balcony in London at 6am. Which is probably not far off from the manner in which these songs were recorded, now that I think of it.
- Her lyrics have No Time For Your Bullshit. They can start out vulnerable but they always find strength at some point. Amy can be heartbroken in her songs and at the same time still absolutely not have the time. For. Your. Bullshit.
You have to love it.
Okay now that you’re ready, here are my favorites songs:
1. Unholy War
God this song is fucking dark. Excellent jam for a moody freestyle.
2. Help Yourself
Sass and a relaxed beat. Sunday freestyle’ for the win.
3. Me & Mr. Jones
What kind of fuckery is this? This song is jazzy and dope.
3. Love is a Losing Game
Vulnerable, emotional, ethereal, beautiful. Perfect for lyrical choreo.
4. Round Midnight
ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THIS. Juicy AF. Are you rolling around on your floor yet because you should be.
5. Take the Box
Delicate at first—but it gets tougher and more soulful as the lyrics get angry. Nice emotional range to this one.
6. Wake Up Alone
Devastating. Let’s finish this up with something live:
Got a favorite AW song I’m forgetting? Drop it below.