Hearing 2003’s Frank the first time around, I can’t say I was knocked out by Amy Winehouse’s supper club jazz singing, and the album hasn’t improved with age. Five years ago, the then 20-?year-?old clearly hadn’t yet found her sound (that would require considerable input from the Dap-?Kings and Mark Ronson), but Frank does offer a glimpse of the young singer/songwriter’s early promise. The Frank album was nominated for a Mercury Prize, and the lead single, Stronger Than Me, won her an Ivor Novello award for best contemporary song.
This deluxe re-?released edition of Frank, well-timed to capitalize on her increasingly bizarre exploits, adds a second disc jammed tight with corny b-?sides, mediocre live recordings and some exceptionally horrible club remixes that seem custom made to clear dancefloors. But amongst the dross, the four stripped-?down demos they’ve included are more direct and powerful than anything that wound up on the Frank album – albeit nothing you can’t live without.