Saturday 6 August 2011

No No No

Now I know how wrong I was to judge Amy Winehouse's music by looking at her personhood. I had always associated her music to be dark, meaningless and that of just another dope singer on the block. Looking at her bee-hive hairstyle and rehab stories, I couldn't make myself think that she could produce good music. All the while, I had made these judgments without having listened to her music. The smallness of my personhood comes through examples as these.

After her untimely death, there were many reviews which chose to focus only on the '27 Club' and not her soulful music or her voice. But there was one review which piqued my interest towards Winehouse. I read that obituary quite carefully and the writer, though mentioned the 27 Club, did not choose to make that his sole point of reference to Winehouse. The way he described her voice and range, could have forced anyone to go and listen to her albums. I don't know whether others did that but I precisely did that: listening to different songs by Winehouse. I started with Rehab, which faintly reminded me of CCR's "Someone told me long ago/There's a calm before the storm,/I know" from the song Have you ever seen the rain?. I liked the feel of Winehouse's Rehab. I listened to all of her songs that were on You tube and boy, here was a fan of Winehouse's voice.

Well, I don't much listen to songs by girls/women, as they are mostly mushy love songs with a voice that drips honey and sweetness. Of course, there are some exceptions to this and Winehouse was one who did not have a stereotypical voice (wiki tells me that she possesses deep contralto vocals). Now I feel sorry that the world lost someone as her at so young a age. If she was alive, there would have been many soulful songs that would fill the idle hours of many souls like me.

I should leave this judging business, otherwise I will lose out on many things. What say?

Image: Internet


  1. Deborah, you ask: "Judging. What say?"

    I answer: "Guilty!"

    Trying to get better--I am going right now to U-Tube and find "Rehab". Thank you.

    Even in 'character defect' issues, it is good to know you/I are not alone--grin! I suspect there is one or two others on the planet who could "join our group"....

    Love and PEACE (and I love your wishes--always--for JOY!)

  2. Just as guilty here, Mrs. Sus. I'd see headlines (never even bothered reading the articles) and photos of her doped self and just tuned out. I only got to hear Rehab after her death. Though I'm not into her genre of music (I go for dance music), she did make jazz accessible to non-jazzies like me.

  3. You know I read this post that somebody put up on facebook, it was rather hateful and went something like this.."Stop commiserating over that crack-whore's death, think about all those innocent lives lost in Norway."

    And I thought, how is the loss of one life any less tragic than that of another? Are we doctors to stop saving drug addicts or alcoholics just becoz they made poor life choices? That doesnt make sense.

    But you know, as an artist, I really loved Rehab, she had a lovely voice and sang her songs like they came from a deep, dark place inside her.

    My own relationship had just ended and I heard her sing Love Is A Losin' Game on the radio and it was gut-wrenching.

    Many artists create great art by wrestling with the demons inside them, and quite a few of them have died early by living too fast and hard. But, if we all wanted to listen to music sanitised from all human suffering we'd all be listening to 'We are the world' on a loop.

    Lovely post, Susan. You're a very honest and very sensitive person. :)

  4. It is human nature to judge...we are all guilty of it. To recognize and acknowledge that we have judged is not easy to accept... So Susan you have just stepped forward and now your self will be more attune to the judging....

  5. Susan, this should easily rank as one of your best posts. Brilliant!

  6. how true...she made some poor choices...but was such an is sad to lose any one especially so young...

  7. these bad choices seem to be prevalent in the talented ones.. Belushi, Dean and Cliff just to name a few. We all make snap judgements and then hopefully much like you did investigate the issue and hopefully make a more educated judgement

  8. well said! and also guilty of the very same

    all of us gets distracted by this world and fail to see the true essence of our ourselves let alone our fellow man. as we know...her talent is her true essence the rest of the bad stuff is the weight of the world.

    I like to think that most of us are not meant to go forth in life being judgmental. It's a very human thing to do and I'm sure no harm is meant in it but as long as one realizes they are being judgmental, there is always room for improvement. :)

    thank you for this, Susan. A great reminder for myself as well.

  9. So true! She had great talent but I think her personal and troubled life overshadowed that. Only now that she is gone will we start to appreciate that talent that we lost way too soon.

  10. Indeed you have written such a nice obituary (not sure if that was your intention). I would rather call it as opinions instead of judgments (on her music). Now after hearing her music you probably have better judgment I say.

  11. I love your honesty in this post. Frankly, I had only heard the negative publicity surrounding Winehouse, before, and after her death. I did see her death as nothing less than tragic, regardless of whether she overdosed or whether she was talented or not, anytine someone is taken from this world that young it is nothing less than a tragedy. You are inspiring me to check out her music now and reminding me not to get carried away from the hype others will put around controversies and instead, decide for myself objectively what is the real reality. Thanks :)

  12. Really good points made here. I also listened again to her music after her death and was reminded what a great voice she had and have listened to her albums several times since. Her music was for many people overshadowed by the headlines which is such a shame and I think any death at such a young age is tragic. And actually more so when it is a result of self destruction - that is not in any way to belittle what happened in Norway - but I can't understand why anyone would compare the two events
    NNHM x

  13. It's part of being human to be a little judgmental at times. Being a fan of many of Amy's singing I always got a tad bit annoyed at judgmental comments I've heard.

    I am no saint by no means and I've done my fair share of judging. I always kept the judging to myself thou.

    I am glad you found out that Amy's singing was great, she had "real life" struggles and died way to young. Loved your story


  14. May her soul rest in peace!
    I feel sorry for the loss of such a young and gifted human being.
    Sadly, in our permissive society there are many who fall victim to the bad addictions of alcohol and drugs.

  15. I, like you, judged her similarly. I couldn't get past the tattoos, hair style and make up plus her drug addiction stories. I have since listened to her music and I must agree, very talented. When I saw the video of her last performance, I realized how troubled she was. No one chooses to be that way. It's a shame that vice took control of her

  16. I guess that;s why they say "never judge a book by the cover". I have heard her songs and she had a powerful voice. It is really tragic that she died so young. I keep thinking of her troubled young life.

  17. I, for one, bacame an instant fan of Winehouse the day I listened to "Rehab", some time during 2008/ 2009.

    She will forever remain a favourite!

    PS: Check out "You know, I'm no good" also. It's outstanding! Beautiful lyrics!

  18. we are all guilty - i think - of at times judging that proverbial book by the cover - and this incredible vocalist was a prime target of many, i'm sure - however, under the facade of her own uniqueness her own creativity was the voice to mesmerize us all - i hope she has found peace -

  19. I loved Amy's music from the beginning and thought she was a real talent. People who perform from their gut appeal to me. In the realm of pop culture, it's hard not to be judgmental because the media spends a lot of energy helping us decide what to think. We all are judgmental some point or another. Good for you for turning the eye inward and learning from it.

  20. It's sad that she had such a troubled life. Yet, she was a great artist.

    I judge many things because I'm human. That's just how our brain works. Nice that you took the time to honor her talent. You are a caring person.

  21. I think a lot of people were turned off by Amy Winehouse's addiction problems. I realize that her inner demons in no way detracted from her talent as a singer and musician. I'm quite a music person and listened to a lot of her work when she was first becoming popular. It's unfortunate, the way such a talented soul left us so prematurely. There's so much written about the age of 27 being pivotal for creative people, and it seems to hold true in the entertainment industry that it is a tricky age to navigate for some. The world did definitely lose a talent that could have produced so much more in years to come. I appreciate that you chose to set aside your earlier thoughts about Amy and investigate the reason she was so popular. Kudos to you for such a wonderful post, Susan!



  22. So easy to judge a book by its cover, especially this cover! But her voice forgives any soul, mine too.
    I think you missed my tribute to this lady(?)

    from last july 24th- hope you like it.

    I am glad you also liked her music.

    Hugs Susan, dearest!

  23. I've never really listened to her music, but then I rarely listen to gaga or katy perry or beiber. I shall check them out on you tube.
    Hope life is smiling at you...

  24. Dear Susan, I sure missed your wonderful reflective writing and it is good to be back.;)
    We area only human and it is easy to be judgmental. As long as we recognize we were wrong, we can always change our mind.;)
    Amy was a troubled soul and just like every great artist, she was too sensitive to life and knew not how to live. But yes, man she knew how to sing. I loved her voice from the get go as she was original in every way.
    Thank you so much for your visit today dear friend and wonderful welcoming words.;) That quote was truly lovely, warmed my heart.;))

  25. I am guilty of judging too Susan Deborah, no matter how I try to get a hold on it, it just sneaks into my thoughts sometimes. Funny thing is that very often something happens to show me how very wrong my judgement was.

    I haven't listened to any of her music but still find her death very sad.

    Thanks for sharing these reflections today.

  26. What a beautiful and honest post and a great tribute to Amy Winehouse. I was a huge fan of her music, but when I learned of her drug abuse and destructive ways I removed her music from my iPod. It truly hurt to listen to her because I felt that she was wasting her beautiful gift. Of course I was wracked with guilt when she died. If and when we love or admire someone, it should be through good and bad times. I'm not saying we should celebrate bad behavior, but our love should be unconditional. I think that is something we all can work on.

    Thanks for being so open and honest with your thoughts about Amy and yourself. As someone else here wrote, you are a very sensitive and lovely person. Looking forward to reading more from you!

  27. I think you speak with wisdom...good words!

  28. Hi Susan .. how right you are .. and I judge Russell Brand by his stupidity .. but someone directed me to this report on Amy's death .. and I had to sit up and think ..

    So often people who are successful, make huge mistakes and idiotic situations .. but actually are incredibly feeling and show there is a lot more to them than our one-off immediate thoughts ..

    Here's the read - if anyone wishes to look .. it's worth it ..

    Thanks - she had an amazing voice .. and it's very sad she's lost .. I hope her legacy helps others ..


  29. Looks like I am going to download some songs.

    Happy Weekend Susan!

  30. Steve:

    Glad to see you honest. Most of us are guilty of this. I guess it is a human trait to be so.

    Joy and more joy to you, always.


    Dance music sounds interesting. Do you dance as well? I sometimes do like listening to dance music as well.

  31. Karishma:

    Amy had enough in her lifetime, I think one has to respect her atleast after she passed on. Sorry to hear about your heartbreak, dear Karishma. I'm sure you've bounced back now.
    Thanks for your lovely words, dear Karishma, they always brighten me up.


    Yes, Sav. Hope you've been well.

  32. Giri:

    Thanks Giri. Your words make me think and wonder.



  33. Jim:

    Quite true, Jim. How easy it is to brand and label them.


    How nice to see you after a long time. I'm glad this post helped you in some way. There is always room for improvement on one self.

  34. Nelieta:

    Yes, dear Nelieta. I hope people stop bad mouthing her.


    I never saw it that way, Sethu. Thanks. Better judgment not only of her but everyone as well.

  35. Jessica:

    Her music is quite soulful and haunting. I liked alomost all her songs. Thanks for a lovely comment, dear Jessica.


    Sometimes people see one thing as having greater imapct over the other. It is not quite welcome but it does happen. But I'm glad I listened to her music :)

  36. Debbie:

    Welcome here, Debbie. Glad to see you here. Thanks a bunch for the following. It is highly appreciated. Liked reading your very insightful insight. Thanks Deb.


    Yes. May her soul rest in peace. Quite true. A young talent got sucked away.

  37. Myriam:

    Glad that we both discovered her music.


    Her life and voice continues to make me think. Thanks for coming by, Rimly.

  38. Suraj:

    Great to hear that you are a fan. She will be one of my favourites as well. Hope you are doing well, Suraj. Have a lovely weekend.


    She has found eternal peace. Glad to see you here, dear Jenean. Hope you are doing swell :)

  39. Myrna:

    Thanks Myrna. Your words make me glow with appreciation.


    27!!! I still wonder about that. Glad that you are here, dear Dawn. Wonderful to read your valuable insight.

  40. Dulce:

    I did miss that post and I went back to it though I did not comment :) Hope you are well and happy, dear Dulce. Big hugs and much love :)



  41. Karen:

    Life is smiling at me, yes. Try to listen to her music, you might like it.


    How nice to see you dear one. I wish that you remain happy and joyous always. xxoxoxx

  42. Colleen:

    The word "sneaks" is an apt one for that is what happens to most of us as well. You are welcome, dear Colleen.



  43. Tameka:

    Welcome to the Meanderings. Such a joy to have you here. Thanks for your very kind words, Tameka. A joy to read your insights.


    :) Don't know what to say :)

  44. Hilary:

    Welcome here. Glad to have you stop be here. I just hope her legacy helps others. Thanks for coming by, Hilary. your words made me happy.


    :) Thanks and thanks.

  45. Sameera:

    Please do.

    A very happy weekend to you as well :)



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