TGATP is still not over the death of Amy Winehouse, who was the brightest and most original singer on the scene. Since it includes the last original tracks from her mixed with some retreads, I approached this latest album with both bittersweet excitement and some trepidation. Unfortunately, “Lioness: Hidden Treasures” lives up to both those expectations. It is a mixed bag with half the album done beautifully and the other half a hot mess. I HATE the mix on “The Girl from Ipanema” with the dreadful drum machine up way too loud! “A Song For You” is equally destroyed by dreadful over producing with Amy once again too far back in the mix. The song was completely unrecognizable and a total mess! It’s like she is singing from the grave because her voice is so far back in the mixes on those two! And “Between the Cheats” should not have even been included! It sounds like she recorded it under the influence with her slightly slurring and the upper registers painfully out of key. “Tears Dry” is okay but the version that was on “Back To Black” was much better. Again, on that one her voice is too far back in the mix and it sort of drags on. And “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” is just annoying with that “Ta-Ta-Tump” glaringly loud drum beat and horn throughout. Amy’s voice is competing with a whole lot of unnecessary noise there.
The best cuts are the new “Half Time” which is awesome in a Badu way. “Like Smoke” is pure genius when Amy is singing. “Valerie 68” and “Wake Up Alone”, are outstanding and spotlight the vocal genius of Amy before the substances possessed and overtook her.