Valerie (Live At BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge, London / 2007)
Label: Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Wildly talented but also just plain wild, Amy Winehouse had pipes that were more R&B-drenched than Joss Stone's, and her lyrics were more autobiographical than Lily Allen's. She also led the kind of tabloid-rich lifestyle that probably made even Britney Spears blush. But Back to Black proves that her material is stronger than the hype ever was. "Tears Dry on Their Own" proudly recalls Motown classics, while cuts like "Wake Up Alone," "Some Unholy War" and "Love Is a Losing Game" show what the English singer could do when she stopped cribbing a posed toughness from American hip-hop songs.