(I posted this on my Myspace blog last week...)
I'm calling bullshit on Amy Winehouse.
Until she is found dead in a pool of her own vomit, I can't shake the suspicion that Amy Winehouse is pulling the wool over all our eyes. All these arrests, missed concerts, mumbled performances, man trouble, etc are nothing more than a shrewdly calculated and carefully crafted media image.
Judging her purely on her voice alone, she's a talented singer. So is Norah Jones, and the pack of dozens of other similar old-school female vocalists. But what sets her apart are her tabloid exploits. More people have heard of Amy Winehouse and her troubles than have actually heard her music (just like Pete Doherty). Suddenly people are snatching up tabloids, agonizing over her health, casting her as Janis Joplin, Judy Garland, and Billie Holliday all rolled up into one, and can't download her albums fast enough. She may be a decent singer, but she's a genius marketer.
Compare and contrast: Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson. Their dysfunction is real enough, in the sense that if it's otherwise, then it's incompetently crafted. Their public fuckups are damaging their stock value, whereas Amy's stock value is skyrocketing. Maybe it's the accent. I dunno.
Twenty or thirty years from now, I predict Amy will be long-since retired, lounging on the deck of her villa on the Riviera sipping herbal tea, counting her money and laughing about what suckers we all were back then.
This is, after all, a world where Cher parlayed Sonny's death into her escape from infomercial hell, where George Michael turned jacking off in a public bathroom into a publicity blitz for his "Best Of," where David Bowie's greatest talent is being a few seconds ahead of the Big Trend Machine, where careful crafting of their own public image makes icons out of mediocre singers like Madonna and Mick Jagger, where Milli Vanilli wins Grammies, and where wastes of DNA like Paris Hilton are famous, and even Screetch from "Saved by the Bell" has a sex tape.
Or, I'm wrong, and she's a few months shy of becoming this generation's Janis Joplin. In either case, I just can't work up the effort to give a shit.