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The Shangri-Las Meet The Supremes

Winehouse is a young Londoner who draws on the musical past while telling tales about love and ex-lovers.
Winehouse is a young Londoner who draws on the musical past while telling tales about love and ex-lovers.

With its soulful horns, dramatic strings, handclaps, and a nod to the girl-group sounds of the '60s, Amy Winehouse's fun and inventive "Rehab" serves as one of the year's most decadent — and, appropriate for its subject, most addictive — pleasures. "They tried to make me go to rehab / I said no, no, no," Winehouse sings on the captivating chorus. The tale of Winehouse's refusal to enter rehab at the request of her management company, "Rehab" has become a chart-topping sensation in recent weeks.

Like Lily Allen, another of 2007's brassy new singers, Winehouse is a young Londoner who draws on the musical past while telling tales about love and ex-lovers. Where Allen blends pop, ska and hip-hop, Winehouse combines '60s R&B and soul, blues and jazz. With a stack of black hair, an athletic trainer's body and a unique personal style, her look is as arresting as her subject matter.

Winehouse's soulful, smoky voice brings to mind a mixture of Etta James, Shirley Bassey and Shirley Ellis. For Winehouse, vintage is the vantage point, and "Rehab," like the album that spawned it, is a slice of rich soul that owes as much to The Shangri-Las as it does to The Supremes.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bruce Warren is assistant general manager for programming of WXPN in Philadelphia. Besides serving as executive producer of World Café, Warren also contributes to Paste magazine and writes for two blogs: Some Velvet Blog and WXPN's All About The Music Blog.
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