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With her debut album Frank, Amy Winehouse proves to be one of the most original, honest, and brave singer/songwriters to emerge in recent years. Over the course of the 13 songs, she manages to do everything required of a classic album. This is a stark piece of work, comprising husky, frequently sexually charged vocals, painfully honest lyrics and soft trumpets, laidback beats, and sparse guitar work. It seems that soulful jazz doesn't always have to be bland--it can also be playful, twisted, and arrogant ("Amy Amy Amy"). "F*** Me Pumps" charts a seemingly guilt-free act of infidelity: "What do you expect when you leave me here alone?" she asks coyly, as if by way of justifiable explanation. "You wouldn't want me to be lonely," she adds. You can't help warming to her, despite what she's saying. A unique sense of humour (how rare in music now) and a no-bull attitude make for an interesting, compelling debut. Frank? Yes, but refreshingly so. You wouldn't want her for a girlfriend, but as a life companion she may yet prove indispensable. --Cortman Virtue
- This is a great album
I got FRANK after Back to Black. Both are great and I've had both on heavy rotation for quite some time.
I will say that it took listening to this several times before I was hooked. That's usually a good sign for me; the longer I take to get into the music, the longer I'll listen to it....more info
I have had this CD on continuous play in my car. Amy Winehouse has such a fantastic voice, it is put to good use on every song except maybe "f***k Me Pumps", the weakest song on the CD. "Take the Box" is so melancholy and beautiful as is "In My Bed". I highly recommend this CD....more info
- Whether it's about a dog, Sinatra, or being honest, it's goodies to your ears
I'm not totally sure what Frank means exactly. I originally thought it had to do with her blunt honesty, but a friend told me she was a huge fan of Sinatra and named her dog (I think he's the one on the cover) after him. Anyway, Amy's voice is amazing and while her vocals are reminiscent of Billie, Sarah, and Ella, she manages to pull off her own style. Something I love about this album is that it's very straight forward and what you see is what you get. Her second album Back To Black, while also good, relies too heavily on the 40's and 50's jazz sound and sometimes borders on gimmicky. Frank pulls from the past, but sounds very much of today. First up is the debut single "Stronger Than Me". Over a wobbly hip hop beat, Amy complains about her "lady boy" who needs to man up and stop letting her be the guy in the relationship. Amy's personality shines through and makes this an enjoyable track. "You Sent Me Flying" starts off with a disco meets piano beat and is carried by a vocal brimming with regret. Amy getting kicked to the curb never sounded so good. Who knew? "Cherry" at first sounds like a relationship with the another girl, but has a twist no one saw coming. "Take The Box" is the first song I ever heard from this album and got me hooked. With a shout out to Frank (the dog or the singer) in the chorus, Amy sings about a love affair that has ended badly, but she can't completely let her guy go. The music is top notch and intoxicating. "In My Bed" finds the singer letting a guy know that she only wants sex from him, but not his heart over a Nas beat. I read that it was a single and it deserved to be. I can't compare Amy's cover of "Moody's Mood for Love" to any others, but this reggae tinged song is a highlight. "There Is No Greater Love" is just a love song. Not to weed or booze, but to a guy. Weird, I know. I love the late night cricket chirping feel to the production. In "I Heard Love Is Blind", Amy makes excuses for her cheating ways. "It's ok, honey. I thought about you when I came." I wonder how that one went over. "October Song" is a bouncy, bright tribute to her deceased bird who is now "reborn like Sarah Vaughan". She can even make a song about her dead bird sound amazing. By the end of the album, Amy seems tired of her hunger for bad men in the hip-hop influenced "What Is It About Men", but she falls for another one on the "Chicago" sounding "Amy Amy Amy". When will this girl learn? Two gripes from me. One, I liked "F!ck Me Pumps" on the first few listens, but now I just skip it. Very little replay value for me. Second, the fact that both hidden tracks (which I love) are literally hidden behind "Amy Amy Amy" and the outro. Why not make them separate tracks? And where is the World War II era sounding "Help Yourself"? Anyway, "Brother" is a heartfelt track about the singer's own troubled sibling and "Mr. Magic" adds beautiful lyrics to Grover Washington's 70's instrumental classic. I really hope that Amy will clean up her life and return to this type of music. She has too much talent to let it all go to waste. ...more info
- Amy Winehouse
It's a slinky,seductive album. I love her husky voice,it just draws your attention. Her lyrics are so raw and in your face. She also has a playful side to show that she dosen't take herself too seriously. If your looking for a deep, soulful record with a sense of humor,this is the album for you....more info
- Can't stop listening to this...no, no, no
I'm addicted to this album...no pun intended...ok, maybe intended.
What a creative awesome mind. She's got the Shirley Bassey beat and voice with a modern vibe. I can't stop listening...it's my new fave...more info
- Amy's roots
This is good album of Amy's early work to see the progress she made, but is pales in comparison to Back to Black, which is her masterpiece. ...more info
- Great But Won't Upload to my ITunes: Copy Forbidden!
Great work of music I love it, but imagine my disgust and surprise when I tried to download the CD I had purchased and waited months for Amazon to send to me (I got a back-order notice at one point) to my iTunes so I could enjoy "Frank" on my iPod but couldn't. Very clearly printed on this cd is an "FBI Anti-piracy Warning: unauthorized copying is punishable by law".
Since when is backing my music up to my iTunes and listening to it on my iPod a crime? Fine (not). So then I went to iTunes and paid $3 less for "Frank" plus I received two bonus songs. And it's on my iPod now. Which is how I listen to my music 95% of the time whether through headphones, my radio adapter or hooked up to speakers in my office.
So, two things learned here:
1. This album was worth buying twice. It's that great. I love the sexy and playful ode to office crushes in "Amy Amy Amy." The wicked humor of Paris-Hilton-wannabes bashing in "F**K me pumps" is tinged with just the right amount of that kind of bitchy-sweetness you get when smiling while insulting someone.
Where Amy's amazing album "Back to Black" smacks of a 1960's alcohol and cigarette-ravaged, dive-lounge torch singer hasbeen who's still pushing it with bravado every Thursday and Saturday nights, "Frank" (being three years younger) has Amy's voice a bit fresher and smoother but there's still that attitude in her performance and lyrics that makes the album a necessary part of the Winehouse collection. If you like the retro attention given to "Back to Black," "Frank" uses it in a milder but effective way.
2. Always try to make sure, when purchasing from Amazon, that there is a notice in the product page that the cd is "FBI-protected." If there is no such warning, and you intend to download something to your MP3 player, maybe just try iTunes first. Or...Amazon: where's your online mp3 download store?...more info
- E. Sato - Santa Monica, CA
I love Amy Winehouse and I love this CD! Really enjoy listening to this CD at home and driving around in my car. Can't wait for her next CD. ...more info
- Like Billie Holiday...
And no, I don't mean her voice. I mean the way you can hear her voice get a little grittier with every drink and drug, just like Billie near the end of her life. Her vibrato was harsh and forced and she couldn't hold the notes like she once could. And I see that happening with Amy...especially when you listen to Frank and then hear her sing Back to Black.
And, no one realizes that there's a song by Amy Winehouse called "Know You Now" and it was originally on this album. It is by far my favorite and NO ONE KNOWS about it. It has a very jazzy tempo and it's really tasty.
In comparison to each other, Frank is way better than Back to Black. In comparison to other artists, Amy Winehouse is better...even when she's at her worst.
Also, the amazon.co.uk reviewer got the song and lyrics WRONG...the song that had the lyrics "you wouldn't want me to be lonely..." is "I Heard Love is Blind" NOT "F*** Me Pumps."...more info
- Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!
The first time I saw Amy Winehouse was in the "You Know I'm No Good" video from her "Back to Black" CD on VH1. I was stopped in my tracks by the sheer cleverness of the music and the soul deep passion in her voice. So when I found out that Back to Black wasn't her first CD I was ecstatic. I was excited to see the beginnings of this fascinating woman.
I wasn't disappointed. I was blown away.
I thought the use of an updated fifties girl group sound in Back to Black was brilliant. But Frank was something altogether different. There were sounds and rhythms I hadn't ever heard before, some sounds, fast and slow, that I had heard, but done up in new and surprising ways. She wrote most of the material for the album about a failed relationship and you find clear examples of what this guy was like. "Stronger Than Me," is one of the smartest songs I've ever heard. It's a straight forward slap across his face because he just wasn't man enough for her. She takes the theme of her dissatisfaction even further in "I Heard Love Is Blind," her attempt to explain away an affair, but then she chastises her shortcomings later on when she asks herself, "What is it About Men."
Winehouse has all sorts of personal problems and it distresses me to no end that she, as an artist, seems to require her own self-destruction in order to be brilliant. I pray she finds her way back to the studio and to her muse, because she is a uniquely stunning singer and astonishing writer, who unfortunately is on the fast track to being a tragedy.
- Bluesy Soul for Grownups (If a bit vulgar)
I have liked this album better each time I listen to it, and I definitely like it better than "Black". Her voice is noticeably better, and the caustic humor is just as biting. "You should be stronger than me", is a great example.
So here's the short version,
Frank is a very good CD if... you love old school R&B (60's)
You aren't put off by bad language, and adult themes. In other words, I would never play it with my parents or kids in the room, but I like it for what it is.
- Amy Winehouse
Amy Winehouse is one of my favorite artists. This album is great. Let's hope she is around for years to come....more info
- Top Notch
This is actually her 1st release and is a few years old--it wasn't available in USA until recently. I think this is the better of her 2 cds. It is absolutely top notch; incredibly amazing to listen to....more info
Well, I really liked this. I feel strange though, supporting an artist who is on such a destructive path and may not be around much longer. So all I'll say is I liked this jazzy bluesy rendition of songs....more info
- Frank Is Better!
Frank is a fantastic CD! I bought Amy Winehouse due to hearing Rehab but I cannot tell you how much more I enjoy Frank. Her voice has a different quality on Rehab but Frank is a fresh album with great, fun lyrics! Thanks Amy for giving music a fresh new face and voice! Every mom should buy this album for her teenage daughter. I'm telling everyone about this album....more info
- Better than Back to Black
First heard Amy Winehouse soon after Back to Black was released, and before all of the publicized issues. I was blown away by this vocal talent. It is too bad that once again the business, or the fame, or the boy friend has polluted this amazing artist.
Then I heard Frank. Much better vocally than BTB. Pure and uninfected. I just hope for her that she can get through her problems and continue to entertain us for years to come....more info
- This is Real Music
Amy Winehouse is a really great singer. Many critics compare her to Macy Gray or Erykah Badu. In my opinion, she surpasses both of these ladies in style and musical ability. She sounds very much like Dinah Washington. (I'm over 50, so I prefer the singers from the old school).
- awesome cd
This is my first experience listening to Amy Winehouse, I can't get over what a terrific voice she has. Elements of Ella, Sarah Vaughan. Amy has been training her voice since she was 8 yrs old and in special music schools and it shows....more info
- I loved loved it
I loved loved loved this cd....I actually loved it more than the rehab album.....I sooooo recommend buying it.....it has a jazz type feel to it...GREAT!!! Is all I can say...more info
- no wrong
Amy can do no wrong to me.........she is so unique with her fresh delivery and style i wish her the best....more info
- A rose for Amy
Excellent choice of songs to play when you're laying back in the "days" either reminiscing about a dude you once loved and wanted to love again... or a dude you once loved and never wanted to love ever again. With a sultry and raspy voice, you feel every lyric Winehouse pours out! Although both this album and the one after are great...I believe this cd is by far the best!! Excellent!!!...more info
- better than back to black
i had heard songs from this album on a music site and enjoyed the couple of songs i heard. when i went to buy it, couldn't find it anywhere, so i ordered it online and enjoyed it ever since. favorite song F me pumps....more info
- Sorry I didn't discover this sooner!
Impressive CD from start to finish. This one aims to please! Regardless of her tabloid headlines... you can't deny her talents! Her singing voice is truly amazing!...more info
this was amy winehouse's first cd it is by far her best work this was before she started using narcotics you can tell the big difference between this cd and back to black ...more info
I picked up this CD in Barnes & Noble tonight, out of sheer curiosity... who is this woman who seems to be such a trainwreck? I had only seen her in the gossip rag sheets.
I was stunned... incredible voice, songs, arrangements. Best album I've heard in a long time. Gets you right in your chest....more info
- a glowing and powerful debut from Amy Winehouse.....
Amy, Amy, Amy.....(to quote a song from this album)
FRANK, the debut by the wildly talented Amy Winehouse, released five years ago, is a fusion of 1940s and 1950s jazz/blues and contemporary soul. These songs were released when Ms. Winehouse was nineteen and filled with worldly insight. Yes, most of it's pretty bitter and uncensored accounts of her bad experiences with men, the infamous subjects of her song "F-Me Pumps," who are aging golddiggers, and frank observances about substance abuse and sex.
The band is tight and seamless here. The combination of a soaring horn section, soulful percussion and Amy's sultry vocals make the album as technically brilliant as it is entertaining. I found myself giggling, because her lyrics are just so honest and real! Amy doesn't pull any punches. I particularly love "Amy, Amy, Amy" which is a grand nod to the great jazz and soul bands of the 1930s and 1940s. Damn, that horn is seductive. Also, she penned all of the tunes on this album herself, with the exception of her beautiful, reggae-inspired cover of "Moody's In the Mood For Love." You really can't compare her to anyone! One of a kind.......Brilliant, wonderful and bitingly intelligent.............more info
- I am glad I purchased Back to Black first
I first heard of Amy Winehouse like a lot of people in the US did. In the news with nothing but negative comments about her personal life. But when it came to the music I always heard praise on the album. I first heard the single "Rehab" and did not think to much of the song at first. After watching the VMA in Las Vegas I decided to give the album a chance. I was hooked instantly by the soulful sound of Amy Winehouse. It was a voice that I have not heard since the Motown days of music. It seemed like I listened to that album like everyday. Than I actually heard that Frank was her best and debut album. It took me a while to make the choice to purchase the album but when I finally did I could not believe what I was listening to. This was the Amy Winehouse that I felt was missing from the Back to Black album. Eveything worked for her in this album her soulful voice, the classic Motown/lounge style music and mixed with some great lyrics. Back to Black had everything just the music headed more pop than Frank. Her voice did not have as much control as Frank, but the music stuck to it's true form. I say if you listen to Back to Black and liked/loved the album. Frank will blow your socks off......more info
- Awesome Amy
I absolutely LOVE Amy's "Frank" cd. I purchased it after buying Back to Black and after listening to bits of it on Amazon. I found Frank a little lighter than Back to Black and it kinda has a slight hip hop/R&B feel. I can honesly say I LOVE every song except one, and that one isn't that bad. My favorite song is Stronger Than Me. Amy always tells it like it is...lol. I am totally an Amy fan. I pray that she gets her personal life together. It would be a waste of a God given talent to lose her. She's awesome. Get it together Amy!
- "Put it in the box, put it in the box." "Frank's in there and I don't care".
I was introduced to Amy Winehouse when I finally purchased Back to Black months after the CD had been released. After hearing "You Know I'm No Good" and "Rehab", I still didn't know what to expect from the entire CD, so I decided to wait until a friend of mine finally convinced me to buy it. The CD had an old school feel to it and my favorite tracks ended up being "Back To Black", "Tears Dry On Their Own", "Me & Mrs. Jones", "Love Is A Losing Game" and "Rehab". I was seacrhing for music one day on amazon and I found out that she was
re-relasing a CD that she had previously released overseas in 2003 entitled "Frank".
The CD gets off to a nice start with the track "Stronger Than Me". Amy speaks about a courtship where while she is 7 years younger, she seems to be the wiser of the 2 and she wants a man that is being just that, a man. She doesn't feel that she should be the one telling him or advising him to be a man. She expects him to already know those requirements. It also seems that he wants a relationship and she just wants him to satisfy her in the bedroom only. Things get even better with "You Sent Me Flying". The track starts off as a piano led slow jam and midway through the track it becomes an uptempo track. Amy talks about being caught off guard by the man that she was involved with kicking her to the curb. This track sounds different than anything Amy did on "Back To Black". There is no old school 60s or 70s track in the background. The beat will remind you of a more up to date r&b track. "Know You Now" has Amy wanting to get to know the man that she has just met. Sometimes in relationships people want to take things slow and get to know the person. In this instance, it seems as if Amy is on the fast track. "F____ Me Pumps" is a funny but true tale about a particular type of woman. This woman wants to achieve a certain type of status by dating and being seen with famous celebrities and/or athletes. She also has no concept of commitment because they are so eager to live the fast life while they still have their physical attributes to get them what they want. "I Heard Love Is Blind", "Moody's Mood For Love" and "There Is No Greater Love" are all ballads that you heard and have come to love from Amy. These tracks sound as if they were the blueprint to the ballads that are found on "Back To Black". "I Heard Love Is Blind" is hialrious in some aspects because she is trying to find excuses for why she cheated on the man that she was with by saying since she was left alone for a particular time she had to "be" with someone. She says that while she was with the other man, she wasn't cheating because she was thinking of her #1 man. If you say so, Amy..lol My favorite track ends up being "In My Bed". Amy uses the beat from Nas' "Made U Look" from his
God's Son CD. Amy uses the track to create her own anthem about not wanting to catch any serious feelings for any particular man. She still wants the benefits of "relations" but she doesn't want to be tied down to any 1 man. The combination of the Nas track and Amy's lyrics and voice blend well together on this song. "Take The Box" has Amy frustrated because while she doesn't have to lay her eyes on a man that she broke up with, she doesn't want to be reminded of anything that has to do with him. She is coming to collect her belongings and in my opinion she is mad because she had to come by his place & doesn't want to deal with the situation anymore after today. "October Song" is an upbeat, midtempo track that is clearly different than anything that I have heard from her. I am not use to any positive vibes coming from any Amy Winehouse track. "What Is It About Men" has Amy questioning her ways when dealing with men in general. She is trying to understand why she is weak when it comes to certain aspects about men. "Amy Amy Amy" has Amy back to her devious ways when it comes to dealing with the opposite sex. After listening to "Amy, Amy, Amy" and the Outro, which are both on Track 12, you will find yourself treated to 2 nice bonus tracks that are just as nice as the rest of the tracks on "Frank". Track 12 clocks in at over 13 minutes long.
Overall, I feel that "Frank" is just as nice as Back to Black. "Frank" is the perfect introduction to "Back To Black". Once you listen to "Frank" you will notice certain aspects on "Frank" that made "Back To Black" the CD that it was. The production is different on "Frank" in some instances because of the traditional r&b sound on some tracks, but the quality is still A+ in my opinion. If you are a fan of Amy Winehouse then you should have both CDs in your collection. Let's just hope that she gets her personal life together so we can continue to hear these great CDs.
James' Top 6
1) In My Bed
2) You Sent Me Flying
3) Know You Now
4) There Is No Greater Love
5) Moody's Mood For Love
6) F___ Me Pumps
The rest of the CD (All of the tracks are nice)...more info
Frank, Amy's actual debut album is just as fantastic as those who know her Back to Black album would expect. From listening to the entire American debut album, it is obvious that she is a talented lyricist and singer, and that she has an exceptionally fine-tuned ear for overall music quality. This new-to-America album possesses the same musical and lyrical maturity, delving (sometimes deeply) into the emotions of anger and pain caused by others (usually men). "F**k Me Pumps" could very well have been the inspiration for Pink's "Stupid Girls" single, as it humorously and scathingly takes on the dime-a-dozen "hollywood glamor" girls that us sane people have come to despise. Perhaps the most stunning track on the album, however, is the sorrow-drenched "What Is It About Men", where Amy's vocal and lyrical talents shine the brightest (major hats off to the production on this number, as well).
The tabloids love to try to bring Amy down by broadcasting her substance abuse problems and rowdy behavior, but the thing is that she doesn't try to cover it up. She's a full-fledged bad girl, and she readily admits it. Perhaps it's this dysfunctional lifestyle that has enabled her to pen such brilliant lyrics and sing with such musical conviction. Regardless, I'm thankful that she's made her way over here from England to help distill the pollution that is the American music scene right now. Nowadays, you can pretty much live by this rule when judging music acts: anyone who uses live horns has gotta be okay....more info