'Great Gatsby' soundtrack: Listen to Beyonce's Amy Winehouse cover
More full tracks from “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack appeared over the weekend: Beyonce and Andre 300’s remake of Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black” and Sia’s original “Kill And Run.”
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Of the two, Sia’s “Kill And Run” is the far superior track. Her tune is lush and languid. She sounds downright Adele-like as she asks “What have I done to you?” backed by strings. Like “Skyfall,” the song slowly builds to a crescendo that hits all the right emotional notes without becoming overwrought.
For the past few years, Sia has been the go-to girl to appear on songs by acts like Flo Rida and David Guetta at the expense of her own solo career, or as writer of hits for others, such as Rihanna’s “Diamonds.” Maybe “Kill And Run” will get her solo career going again.
Even before the full version of Beyonce and Andre 3000’s “Back To Black” came out, Winehouse’s father Mitch had nothing good to say about it, calling it “terrible.” While the track is certainly better than Winehouse’s dad’s assessment, it’s not as strong as Mark Ronson, who produced the track originally for Winehouse, feels about it. He premiered it on his East Village Radio show over the weekend and declared he was “flattered and honored” by the “wonderful” cover, adding “I know Amy would be too.”
When word of the track first surfaced, it sounded like Beyonce would be the star and Andre 3000 the guest, but the reverse is true. Andre 3000 is the lead with Beyonce occasionally chiming in, first around the 55-second mark, but never contributing much until around 1:50 when she breathlessly takes a verse. She provides a nice contrast to Andre’s spoken lyrics.
Their version is a slower, chopped-and-screwed version of Winehouse’s original. Despite the drama of the lyrics of the parting lovers, Winehouse’s tune is bolstered by a bouncy beat. Andre and Beyonce’s take is more solemn with the guitar adding to the loneliness. Andre 3000 and Beyonce aren’t afraid to rework the track and make it their own, for which they deserve credit, but their remake won’t make anyone forget Amy’s version.
The A review grade above is for Sia's tune. I give Andre 3000/Beyonce's "Back To Black" a B-. Below are Sia's tune, as well as both versions of "Back To Black." The Andre/Bey "Back To Black" is heavily coded, but you get to hear Ronson's commentary.
"The Great Gatsby" soundtrack comes out May 7 on Interscope. Jack White's Third Man Records will release a vinyl edition with three bonus tracks the same day. White's "Love Is Blindness" is on both configurations.