Trying To Get To You

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dear Amy Winehouse

Dear Amy,

Well, that was quick. You’re already on the cover of Rolling Stone. And Spin. Your album continues to do incredibly well and you’re getting love from everyone – whether it’s the hip-hop community or whites in the 40’s who rarely get into new artists. I can’t go into downtown Manhattan without seeing young women who’ve got your look, with the hair, the super dramatic eye makeup, tight jeans and stilettos. (The look has my full approval, for what it’s worth.) For you, I’d say it’s pretty much an unqualified triumph.

Still, as someone who really believes in your talent, I can’t help but be a little concerned. Reading the Rolling Stone article, all I got was a sense of your personal life and your whole schtick – the drinking, the possible drugs, the up and down relationship with your hubby, etc. That schtick has been a big part of your story – the bad girl, the Femme Fatale, etc. I read about it before I had even heard you late last year. It's a great hook and it no doubt helped get you to the point that you’re at now. But Amy, now is the point where that schtick of yours is threatening to take over the music. I hear that at your shows, people are now encouraging you to drink, encouraging you to play into your image. Don’t indulge them. Both the media and some of your fan base are going to want you to play that crap up because it sells papers and magazines and people get to live their rock n' roll fantasies through you. But you’re an artist, not a goddamned circus freak, and remember that while those people might be your “fans,” they may turn out to be your worst enemies. And also, you don’t have time for that shit – it’s not like your show couldn’t use some improvements.

You’ve got real talent – you’ve got a wonderful voice, and you’re one of the few singers of the past few years that possess both technical skill and the ability to convey many emotional dimensions (lust, regret, doubt, fun, rebellion) simultaneously. It’s why so many people are responding to you so intensely. In a world where Kelly Clarkson is taken seriously as an artist, your music has shown that it’s possible to be an artist of substance and commercial success. You’ve got a gift and opportunity to make a real contribution to music – please don’t blow it on all the clichéd bullshit. You've got a lot of people rooting for you.


Download: “Love Is A Losing Game” (Acoustic) From AOL Sessions
Download: “Rehab” (Acoustic) From AOL Sessions
Download: “Valerie” (Acoustic) From AOL Sessions
Download: “You Know I’m No Good” (Acoustic) From AOL Sessions


Go Nicole Yourself said...

Dear Amy,

What Ben said.


PS - I had tickets to one of her cancelled shows and it made me think it's a good thing I like her voice so much because I'm about to not like the persona at all.

Anonymous said...

There is so much friggin buzz around Ms. Winehouse and I just don't believe she is worth any of it.

Anonymous said...

Ben, well said. I've been reading your blog now for a few months and most of the time we are on the same wavelength. We'll see if Ms Amy can do it without the crutch of all of her self-destructive behaviors. Bad girl alcoholics lose their charms after a while and become tiresome and burdensome to those around them.

Anonymous said...

Hey USA couldn't be more wrong - she aint what your thinking and your making a big mistake.

Over and Out


Anonymous said...

couldn't agree with UK more..



Anonymous said...

I would love you if you could reupload these.