In life, Amy Winehouse was an icon — from her beehive tresses to her struggle with alcohol abuse. In death, she lives on, embodying the quintessentially modern jazz voice.
Her last album, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures,” was just released Tuesday. The bittersweet crackle of her voice rings just as true.
The album consists of 12 covers and demos that Winehouse had previously recorded throughout her lifetime, and it serves as a powerful compilation of Winehouse’s jazziest and most soulful tunes that display her strong vocal versatility.
The album features a number of songs, including one of her biggest hits, “Valerie.” Many of Winehouse’s tracks are fueled with passion and sensuality. This is exemplified as Winehouse sings her heart out in songs like “Tears Dry on Their Own.” She also experiments with new vocal styles in “Our Day Will Come,” where she plays with a reggae vibe, and “Like Smoke,” in which she collaborates with the rapper Nas.
The album ends with two incredible songs, one a duet with Tony Bennett, and the last titled “A Song For You,” a simple heartfelt tune that fades out to the soft crooning of Winehouse’s honey voice and soft guitar strumming.
“Lioness: Hidden Treasures” showcases Winehouse’s smooth-butter croons and the warmth of her rich, jazz vocals, but it is easy to see — judging from the depressing subject matter of her songs — how her life spiraled out of control in the years close to her death.
This latest album serves as a moving tribute to the power of jazz music and celebrates the life of an incredible musician.
3.5 out of 4 stars.