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THE REVIEW: Amy Winehouse’s ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’

Amy Winehouse passed away five months ago and her posthumous album, ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ will be released December 6, 2011.

The album includes twelve tracks recorded throughout her career. Her producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi, who both worked on ‘Back to Black,’ helped to select the songs along with Winehouse’s family. The album displays her unique sound and vocal versatility.

“Our Day Will Come” is the first song on ‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures,’ which is a remake of the 60’s hit song from Ruby & The Romantics. Amy recorded the song back in 2002 for her first album ‘Frank,’ covering the record in her soulful manner with an added reggae vibe.

The headstrong Amy comes alive in the second song, “Between the Cheats,” where you don’t want to come between her and her lover.

She ditches the Motown sound on the third song, “Tears Dry On Their Own.” The song was featured on ‘Back to Black’ but the original version was released for this album. This version is slower and sensual as she sings about heartbreak and love lost.

Continuing down the track list, Amy optimized the Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” slowing down the tempo and adding jazz backgrounds.

Nas assisted Winehose on “Like Smoke” where she sings the hook and he takes control of the verses. The Queensbridge rapper positioned the pair as players, as she lust on the chorus for a friend; nothing more nothing less.

“Valerie” tries and successfully recreates the late sixties sound. Another version was released on Ronson’s second album.

The fallen singer writes her own review for the next song “Halftime.” She begins by crooning, “Simple sweet guitar, humbled by the bass.” Her third line should be taken literal, “When the beat kicks in, everything falls into place.”

Honest Amy sings on “Wake Up Alone.” It’s the first song recorded for ‘Back to Black.’ She sings about making herself busy throughout the day but as soon as she hit her bed, thoughts about her lover floods her thoughts and dreams. The song ends with a dreamy echo of her repeating, “And I wake up alone.”

“Best Friend, Right?” is fun and simple, talking about the downs of a best friend relationship but ends with wanting to smoke together.

The unforgettable duet with Tony Bennett is the eleventh track where each surrenders their body and soul to the other. They compliment each other’s vocal style.

Pianist Leon Russell originally recorded the last song on the album, “A Song For You” in 1970. Winehouse grabbed the tune and completed the song in studio in just one take with just her guitar. Her words fade in and out as she makes love to this record.

‘Lioness: Hidden Treasures’ gets a 4 out of 5.

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