Some things just shouldn’t be touched.
Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black is one of my five favorite albums released in the past ten years or so. Every song on that album sounds ripped straight from the gut. She was a smart lyricist, an intuitive vocalist, and the album would’ve been worth listening to even before you count the production prowess of Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, as well as the instrumental contributions from the Dap-Kings.
Beyonce and Andre 3000 are talented musicians in their own right. However, their decision to collaborate on a cover of Back to Black‘s title track was not a good one, to say the least. The spare, electronic production is not a good match (although I could see Thom Yorke kicking all kinds of ass with a version of this song,) Beyonce’s breathy vocal seems phoned in, and whose decision was it to recontextualize this song as a duet? Andre 3000 offers up a rare miss on this one. Amy’s dad, Mitch, reportedly called the collaboration “terrible.” I’m inclined to agree.
“Back to Black” appears on the soundtrack to the film The Great Gatsby. I believe the release date is in June. Ugh.
(and this is a radio rip, so you’ll hear quite a bit of extraneous chatter during the song. I don’t think the removal of it would make the final product any better, though.)