40

Rehab

Amy Winehouse

Back to Black (2006)

Now that Britney Spears has her shit together, Amy Winehouse has sadly positioned herself to be pop music’s greatest current tragedy. (It’s fitting that the first time I heard “Rehab,” it was in a YouTube clip synced to a montage of Britney singing.) But her personal life aside, Winehouse is an undeniably talented woman, and “Back to Black” was the rare case where an album achieved both commercial and critical success and actually deserved it. “Rehab” sounds so instantly like a long-forgotten soul classic that it’s hard to believe you’re actually hearing a 20-something Jewish Brit singing. Pop music can get pretty predictable sometimes, so to hear this level of musicianship infiltrate top 40 radio is quite a thrill.┬áHere’s hoping Amy gets it together and gives us another addictive dose of retro-soul.

Also check out: Adele’s “Hometown Glory” — another compelling big British voice