Lent you outsiders and my new Badu

While you were thinking I didn’t have a clue

Tough to sort files with your voice in my head

So then I bribed you downstairs with a Marlboro Red, uh huh

This is how I was introduced to the ever so soulful ever so sorely missed Amy Winehouse.

She would have been 39 years and a day old, hence why I picked this stunner of a track, the opener to her debut solo album “Frank”.

It’s something about that voice, all husky, but jazzy and soulful at the same time.

The vocals are recorded in a playful manner if I might say so myself, you hear a rainstick opening the track and a piano playing the soulful chords to accompany her.

At 0:59 there’s a key change and then an electric guitar comes in to follow the piano, this is to distinguish the chorus from the verse, but there’s more of a syncopated rhythm to keep the track interesting and even some little runs on the piano to break it up.

There is no drums until much later in the track but we will come to that later…

The little adlibs that punctuate the lines make me smile. It just reminds you that Amy knew how to communicate with her voice. 

But then the beat kicks in at 2:33 – to me that’s quite a fair bit into the song before that beat drops but the thing is that it works so well, it’s a hip hop groove, showcasing Amy’s love for those kind of grooves..

This song is truly a work of art and the perfect album opener.

What’s not been said about Amy Winehouse already?

Would she recognise the musical landscape as it is today? A lot has changed. But I can still hear and feel her influence in some music I listen to today. She was a unique talent whose star burned out way too quickly and I still miss her.

Listen to the track here now

Words by Del Osei-Owusu