It has been predictably announced that a posthumous album of the late Amy Winehouse will be released this December. Lioness: Hidden Treasures is a collection of incomplete demos and haberdasher attempts at adding unnecessary poignancy to the legacy of the singer who’s not yet one quarter of a year in her wake.
Three tracks: a ‘stripped back’ Valerie, movie soundtrack Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and acoustic Best Friends have, as demonstrated by their appropriated YouTube links, managed to surmount a respectable allegiance of listeners with an official release as a high quality CD or MP3.
Adding a certain amount credence to the claims that the rushed release is simply a record company exploit are the recently debuted, woefully dubbed, ‘new’ recordings Like Smoke (feat. Nas) and Our Day Will Come. Incidentally, the GM-new tracks in 12 hours have failed to rouse much interested from the curious web-surfing public. The troublesome irk that becomes formidably apparent when producing a track without the consent, knowledge or input of an artist –whether or not in tribute – is that all protests of ‘keeping within legacy’ can not be disputed; especially in the case of Amy Winehouse, because, indelibly, she’s popped her clogs.
It’s a null point if her father or long-time producer Saleem Remi can sombrely claim that a meagre collection of isolated snippets of un-backed vocals, strands of a convoluted brainstorm, tacked with the doo wop and snare drums that contributed to her fame, would ever have been confirmed by Winehouse as suitable for airplay.
Compensatory stammering cannot conceal that the record, in spite of all noble intents and charitable purposes, is a sham not warranting any condolence to long-term or recently gathered fans. Beneath the fervent tries to perpetuate that Hidden Treasures is a stand alone record is the perfunctory truth that the chimera record stands as abstraction: tracks are incomplete because of addiction and others left in the vault due to superfluity. Perhaps not a prolific artist, Amy Winehouse should have been remembered for her lack of abundance – not as a stranded artist incapable of approving drums and melody to her music. Any suggestion of hidden treasures and specters of soul music from are denigrating and facsimile notions.