From the second I first heard Amy Winehouse, I knew I was a goner. That voice – so smoky, so sultry, so seductively slurred – spoke to the deepest, darkest, most damaged places in my heart. Yet at the same time, her music manages to soothe the savaged soul. It’s that long, tall drink at the end of a long, hard day. Which is why nothing breaks my heart more now than her hell-bent-on-destruction spiral of late. Wandering the streets of London a bloodied, dazed mess of smudged eyeliner and dried tears, she is the poster child for sad self-fulfilling prophecies. She is becoming a caricature of every song she sings.
It has been said often that true genius is touched by madness. Billie Holiday. Edith Piaf. Janis Joplin. What is it about the sirens that makes them suffer so? Winehouse aches with talent. But it’s the woman herself that fascinates us most. Underneath the behemoth beehive is someone who is honest to a fault. Yet her hedonism seems to come from a place of profound vulnerability. Perhaps that is what draws us to her in the first place. Life is so much more interesting when dismantled. Great for art, not so great for the soul. May she find a healthy balance for both, and find it soon. She may go back to black, but we don’t want her to fade to black forever. Happy weekend, all.