Thursday, December 13, 2007

A losing game

In my book, Amy Winehouse’s “Love is a Losing Game” belongs among the pantheon of great, tragic torch songs. It’s simple slow-burn speaks in the universal language of a broken heart. When she sang it at the Mercury Prize show earlier this year, I got goosebumps. I still do. Which is why the single’s new video is so heartbreaking. Ostensibly there is nothing truly terrible about the clip, except that Winehouse herself clearly wasn’t involved in its making. In fact, for a while I wasn’t sure if it was a tribute video or the official release. But the Universal Records tag at the end (as well as other media reports) confirms that this is indeed the real thing. Take a look.

Seems Amy didn’t make it to the scheduled shoot, so instead the label improvised using old concert footage, still photos and extreme close-ups. Throw in some behind-the-scenes shots and even a couple glimpses of her husband Blake, and you’ve got a fanvid any amateur YouTuber could be proud of. Amy’s inability to make it to a video shoot, inability to make it through a concert and inability to keep from wandering the streets of London in the middle of the night shirtless, shoeless and senseless breaks my heart, again. As do all the shots of her looking dazed, drugged and bedraggled. This is not the transcendent artist we know she can be.This woman is blazing talent capable of transporting us through the power of her voice alone. With each listen, her staggering album “Back to Black” reveals untold truths. I’ll freely admit that I’ve fallen hard. But with love comes the need for tough love. Not to oversimplify the problem and get all Mr. Mackey on you here, but drugs are bad, m’kay. At this rate, I half expect to wake up one morning and read that she has become another sad rock and roll statistic. Don’t break my heart, Amy Winehouse.

8 comments:

Huggitis Brown said...

100% agree with you there. Someone send Iggy Pop to talk some sense back into the woman.

Anonymous said...

I feel exactly the same way. I can't even watch her videos when they come on tv anymore because I just feel so horrible looking at her. She's beautiful and talented but she just looks so fragile all the time. She really fits the saying, and I do believe sometimes you could knock her over with a feather.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

It's distressing enough when a fringe talent goes over the edge, but when a staggering (literally) genius throws themselves off a cliff you can't help but shake your head and ask why.

DJ Spinster said...

She seems to be one of those doomed and tortured souls who teeters between brilliance and madness, which makes her music so compelling and heart breaking. You have to give her credit for her candor.

Ana said...

I agree 100%. I am a big fan of her music... and its very disheartening to see the toll the drugs, etc. are taking.

She has the potential to be great.

Fruitbat said...

Once again, Dorothy, you are bang on.

Geek Porn Girl said...

It's amazing how that big voice and big attitude comes out of that insubstantial-looking woman. She's all woman singing, but often looks like a child playing dress-up.

bambi said...

I feel so "lonely" here in Finland, because it seems that there's no one else who likes Amy...

Everybody says that she's just a pathetic junkie - no matter how pretty she has been and how adorable her voice is!

Everybody seems to hate her without even trying to understand.

Of course I can see that she's got huge problems, but it doesn't change the fact that she's just too weak and so.. wasted? that she can't take care of herself anymore... - And that sure is sad :'(

But still I hope she'll hang on and get her life back!