Although it has been more than four months since Amy Winehouse has died, her legacy lives on through the release of her posthumous album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures, is the third album release from Amy Winehouse following her freshman and sophomore albums, Frank and Back to Black, respectively.
Compiled by music producers Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson, Hidden Treasures features 12 songs that pay tribute to Winehouse's artistic career, including previously unreleased cover songs, alternate versions of her own hits, and demos that were slated to appear on her--otherwise incomplete--third studio album.
The album opens with Winehouse's rendition of "Our Day Will Come," a song recorded by 1960s R&B group, Ruby & the Romantics. The song, which the late singer recorded in 2002, serves as the second single off of Hidden Treasures and introduces the listener to a younger, sweeter-sounding--yet equally talented--Amy Winehouse. Other covers present on the album are Carole King's, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?," Norman Gimbel's classic song, "The Girl From Ipanema," and Leon Russell's, "A Song For You."
"Tears Dry," third track on Hidden Treasures--and perhaps a true treasure for Amy Winehouse's fanatics--reveals the original, more melancholic direction Winehouse was taking for her 2007 U.S. Billboard Top 40 Hit, "Tears Dry on Their Own." Re-workings of Back to Black's "Wake Up Alone" and "Valerie"--a Zutons track that brought Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse critical acclaim--also appear on the album.
Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse perform "Valerie" live at the Brit Awards (2008).
Hidden Treasures, however, was not intended to be an album of covers and re-workings alone; Winehouse fanatics will be pleased to hear three new original songs that the singer was working on before her untimley death. Hidden Treasures reveals what would have been Winehouse's musical direction on "Halftime" and the demo tracks, "Between the Cheats" and "Like Smoke," originally intended for release on her third, full-length, studio album. While the demo tracks seem to have been completed posthumously, they--along with "Halftime"--still manage to get one point across: Amy Winehouse was staying true to her music.
Of the 12 songs present on Winehouse's posthumous album, the most polished and complete track proves to be "Body and Soul," a duet that was recorded for Tony Bennett's album Duets II and also served as the first single for Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
Sony Music Entertainment
Cover art for Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse's duet single, "Body and Soul."
Despite Hidden Treasures being composed mostly of covers and demos, Winehouse's parents--Mitch and Janis--gave the "OK" for the posthumous album to be released.
"Our son was there as well and we all had to be in agreement that the album was of the same quality or better, in fact, than Frank and Back to Black," Mitch said. "We were more than pleasantly surprised."
"Had the family felt this album wasn't up to the standard of Amy's others, Frank and Back To Black, we'd never have agreed to release it," Janis said. "We believe it will stand as a fitting tribute to her musical legacy," she added.
Lioness: Hidden Treasures is available for purchase on iTunes and in most retail locations. A fraction of the proceeds from every album sold will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.