Amy Winehouse Is Dead. Can We Admit She Was a Genius Now?

Categories: Appreciations

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R.I.P. Amy Winehouse

Maybe now that Amy Winehouse has fallen into that darkness around whose edge she was always walking -- maybe now, that she's lost for good -- we can admit what she was: a rare genius.

Winehouse died this weekend in the same way many seem to remember her passing her life: getting fucked up out of her mind. The latest binge apparently came after a fight with her boyfriend, Reg Traviss, over a phone call she made to her ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil. The 27-year-old expired alone in bed in the wake of the 36-hour post-argument bender. Beforehand, she'd imbibed heroic amounts of whiskey and -- in the last drug deal of her life -- purchased heroin, coke, Ecstasy, and ketamine near her home in London.

Winehouse was of course famous for this kind of recreation. When she was alive, the "Rehab" singer served as a reliable "What now?" jester for a public that callously rubbernecked at her slow destruction more than it ever appreciated her music. She filled the mockery galleries of supermarket tabloids, the only places where it's not considered distasteful to laugh at those who are clearly unable -- or, more sadly, unwilling -- to halt the train of their own self-destruction.

But now that Winehouse is gone, let's forget all that bullshit.

Instead, let's spend more time with the good that came out of her demons -- her incredible music: Frank, the 2003 debut that marked her as the jazz/soul diva with punk attitude, a voice to kill, and a habit of fearless inquiry into the unsightly innards of human emotion.

Or Back to Black, the 2006 Mark Ronson-produced follow-up that won Winehouse five Grammys -- an album that hasn't lost one degree of its emotional and musical burn. Let's be brave, and go to the title track and its opening lines, which have in recent days grown even more chilling than they always were:

He left no time to regret
Kept his dick wet
With his same ol' safe bet
Me and my head high
And my tears dry
Get on without my guy

You went back to what you knew
So far removed from all that we went through

And I tread a troubled track
My odds are stacked
I go back to black

We only said goodbye with words
I died 100 times
You go back to her
And I go back to ...


Amy Winehouse was a rare species -- one whose destructive habits in this life unfortunately overshadowed the incredible talent that came with them. Having often doted, unjustly, on the awful choices she made while alive, let's repay the debt by remembering her in death for what she was at her best: one of the bravest and most evocative singers of her time.

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amyfan
amyfan

Well now what will all the Amy Haters do to keep their putrid souls alive?  Let us hope they take a really good long look at themselves in their mirror and  see what self righteous wastes of skin they truly are and then turn their hatred inwards towards themselves and spend the rest of their life suffering in self-loathing destruction.   Shame on all you cunters who made hurtful and ignorant remarks about this incredible woman.  Shame on you all for the mean-spirited remarks about her talent, her life, and her demise.  There are better people than you in this world and we all can see who you are.  Your shit will be out there on the internet for the world to see and there is no place to hide! Each day someone better than you will loathe you that much more, Kharma is a bitch!

smb5
smb5

Two albums does not make you a genius. Especially when the second one is equally Mark Ronson's production.  Amy had a gifted voice and I will miss her, but the hyperbole needs to take a holiday.

amyfan
amyfan

Fuck you smb5 why dont you take a permanent holidy

Ibrandx
Ibrandx

I can name many artists who were cut down early in their careers who would be easily considered geniuses. I don't think that is hyperbole at all. Listen to her sing the standard, "someone to watch over me." There is a version on youtube. Listen to it, then tell me she did not have an enormous gift. Her compositions ( she wrote her own songs and could play them on guitar) were sophisticated, musically and lyrically. She wrote great lyrics.

Dominiondancing
Dominiondancing

You are right about everything except that whiskey drinking in that amount can be heroic.

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