Friday, July 24, 2015

Losing One's Voice

Don't know if the movie was all that great, but the content sure was, and her talent was as real and rare as it ever gets. I didn't know Amy Winehouse from shit while alive, by the time I found out who she was, she had already become the mumbling, fumbling, public butt of jokes; and that is, I must confess, how I happened upon her. A joke, a sham, a vapid publicity stunt gone terribly wrong.

Truth is, she was an exceptionally rare talent with a gift that comes along only once in several generations. Most recording artists artists in general must strain to get every last ounce of whatever talent they possess to make themselves shine and be counted. Amy's voice was an absolute force of nature, she had to corral and tame its sheer brilliance. And she could do so with surprising ease and regularity. I have to go back to a young Aretha to think of someone who actually had to restrain their voice of its own natural intensity, a voice that could just wail seemingly of its own accord and volition. She didn't have the Biblical soul of Aretha, but the subtle intonations she delivered were nothing short of magical- so unlike the squeeze every note into every syllable histrionics of the Mariah Carey School of Yarbling.

Unfortunately, she could not curtail and control the very demons that lived within that voice. And she very rapidly regressed into the same sad story of an enormous talent imploding under the pressure of drugs, stardom and wanton self destruction. 

Ironically, and unlike so many others- she wanted neither the fame nor celebrity, and knew it would be the death of her...

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