8 Songs, 26 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

For an eight-song compilation, Back to Black: B-Sides plays with the cohesive flow of a short, full-length album. But it also shows that the late Amy Winehouse’s influences ran a bit deeper than revealed on both 2003’s Frank and 2006’s Back to Black. She opens covering “Valerie” by British band the Zutons, turning their distorted indie-rock tune into something that sounds straight out of the mid-‘60s Motown vaults. She follows by turning Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” into a vintage-sounding ska tune. Keeping with the ska theme, Winehouse then tears into Toots & The Maytals’ “Monkey Man.” “Some Unholy War” is one of two Winehouse-penned songs here. It’s a slow-burning soul dirge with a brushed snare drum providing a moody backdrop over steadily picked arpeggios as she sings about supporting those fighting an unsupportable war. Her “Love Is a Losing Game” closes with a raw, stripped-down beauty.

EDITORS’ NOTES

For an eight-song compilation, Back to Black: B-Sides plays with the cohesive flow of a short, full-length album. But it also shows that the late Amy Winehouse’s influences ran a bit deeper than revealed on both 2003’s Frank and 2006’s Back to Black. She opens covering “Valerie” by British band the Zutons, turning their distorted indie-rock tune into something that sounds straight out of the mid-‘60s Motown vaults. She follows by turning Sam Cooke’s “Cupid” into a vintage-sounding ska tune. Keeping with the ska theme, Winehouse then tears into Toots & The Maytals’ “Monkey Man.” “Some Unholy War” is one of two Winehouse-penned songs here. It’s a slow-burning soul dirge with a brushed snare drum providing a moody backdrop over steadily picked arpeggios as she sings about supporting those fighting an unsupportable war. Her “Love Is a Losing Game” closes with a raw, stripped-down beauty.

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