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CD Review: Amy Winehouse - Back To Black

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Practically speaking, you'd better buy this CD before someone else runs off with your new best friend.

60s soul-singer incarnate Amy Winehouse’s latest record Back to Black (Universal Republic) feels like that Muppets' sentiment of not knowing the word for an old pal you’ve just met.

Deep and warm and completely convincing, you’d swear you were listening to a classic Motown/Soul/Gospel/Jazz classic who’s most influential work had recently been unearthed, perfectly preserved, from a dusty basement somewhere in the Midwest.

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In reality, this English, Jewish, 23 year old has clearly been doing some cross cultural time-traveling in her short lifetime. Miss Winehouse croons, bends and aches her voice into a hypnotic hybrid of all things powerful, vulnerable and tremendous.

Vintage sounds and modern frankness flank the smoky songstress as she lays out her vices like a sexy confession; without apology or need to explain. Booze, depression and bad relationships are packaged, with precision, into epidemically contagious tunes.