Amy Winehouse

Back to Black
(Universal Republic)

UK chanteuse Amy Winehouse is quickly becoming known for two things: her drinking habit and her amazing voice. She combines the two on "Rehab," the opening song on her second album, Back to Black, in which she sings, "They tried to make me go to rehab/I said no no no" (and her management company didtry to send her to rehab; not only did she say "no," she fired them). But even if the boozy, bluesy crooner "ain't got 70 days," she's definitely got the hottest follow-up album of the year, a record filled with sultry vocal stylings and popping with boppin' beats and sax bleats reminiscent of early '60s girl groups like the Shangri-Las (especially the Phil Spector-ish title track). Other highlights include the Dusty Springfield-feeling soul of "He Can Only Hold Her," the funkified "You Know I'm No Good," and the wistful, low-key ballad "Love Is a Losing Game."

 
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