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Diva leaves fans with last treasure

Amy Winehouse
“Lioness: Hidden Treasures”
(Universal Music)

This album, filled with 12 unreleased songs, will take fans through a journey of joy and sadness. Listening to the diva’s trademark sultry and smoky voice, one will be constantly reminded that she is no longer among us.

Serving as Winehouse’s follow-up to 2007’s “Back to Black,” “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” shows that the multi-Grammy-winning musician began to lose some of her vitality and power toward the end of her life.

The album features songs that were recorded between 2002, a year before her debut album and this year.

A remake of the Shirelles’ timeless song, “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” features Winehouse’s tender and sugary voice.

“Halftime” recalls 1970s-era soul, while remakes of “The Girl from Ipanema” and “Our Day Will Come” feature her lighter side.

The album also takes fans through more popular songs including “Wake Up Alone” and “Tears Dry on Their Own.”


Billy Joel travels from 70s to present

Billy Joel
“Billy Joel: The Complete Albums Collection”

We live in a fragmentary culture. Songs are “quoted” in commercials, sampled in other songs, heard in slivers in all corners of our landscapes.

How odd, then, to be able to listen to the entire arc of a singer-songwriter’s artistic life in one package and to see, as close as is possible in art, the complete picture of who someone has been.

So it goes with “Billy Joel: The Complete Albums Collection” ― a 15-CD collection that takes the Joel oeuvre from the dawn of the 1970s into the 21st century. From “Piano Man” to “Just the Way You Are” to “Uptown Girl” to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and beyond, it is quite a ride.

As the albums spin by and Joel’s voice gets more gravelly, his life experiences are reflected in his songs. His has sometimes been a bumpy road, and many times he has worked through it with his craft. “I never felt the desire to let music set me on fire,” Billy Joel once sang. “Then I was saved.” This sprawling, eye-opening collection shows how we benefited from that. (AP)

Homage to Warhol fills niche

Various Artists
“Fifteen Minutes”
(Legacy Recordings)

“Fifteen Minutes,” crafted as an audio and artistic homage to Andy Warhol, is certainly tailored for a small audience.

First of all, the initial run was limited to 1,964 copies. And at $600 a pop, for just three compact discs, four vinyl records and 16 lithograph prints, it is no bargain. But for those with even more refined tastes, there’s the $20,000 deluxe edition of just 85 copies featuring numbered silkscreens.

The concept was to have artists who either worked with or were influenced by Warhol to contribute both a work of art and an audio recording, which take the form of either music, poetry or spoken word.

The entire project was assembled by Jeff Gordon, a Warhol associate and artist, and painter Path Soong to correspond with what would have been Warhol’s 83rd birthday.

Given its high price and exclusivity, “Fifteen Minutes” was clearly created with a small audience in mind. Members of that club may be more than willing to drop the money to get it, but general audiences need not worry too much about what they’re missing. (AP)