If we’re in the 108 and someone sits behind us with two Bud Lights in hand, well, we know it’s gonna be a fun night. That person is none other than CJ, and I needed to know about this favorite album:
CJ Loman – @CeeJayLoman
Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
First time you heard it
It was probably 2008 when I first heard this album; of course “Rehab” had been a hit by then. But after hearing other hits like the title track and “Tears Dry On Their Own” I figured I had to buy the whole album. I’m old enough to have been burned often by the Sam Goody stores of the world in the 90s/2000s with their “2 good songs on otherwise trash-ass pop albums for $20” bullshit but something about this new/old school musical alchemy drew me to those three tracks—and of course to the album, which of course did not disappoint.
How often do you listen to it?
Every week or so. It’s great music for working out, morose complaining and #108ing—three of my favorite things.
Why is this your favorite album?
There are no bad songs on this album—not even the coupla “remix” tracks tacked on by Apple Music can’t derail the vibe. The Mark Ronson production and The Dap-Kings’ playing is soulful and jazzy without being overly studied or caucasianly-watered-down. And of course the woman could goddamn SING. “Wake Up Alone” makes me weepy every damn time. And who doesn’t love a good diss track (“Me & Mr. Jones”, her rebuke to cheating ex-boyfriend Nas). If you haven’t looked around at shit going on in your life—as I have recently—and been all like, “WHAT KINDA FUCKERY IS DIS” then, really, have you even truly lived, bro? I say you have not.
Which track would be your walk up music?
This one’s easy—the outro to “He Can Only Hold Her”. It’s jazz, it’s hip-hop, it’s gospel, it’s rock, shit, probably like seven more genres I dunno—all skillfully smoothed together in a single, less-than-3 minute track. One of my favorite songs. If you wanna see the only young black fella ever who can’t dance awkwardly bust a move, play this jam. Then feel free to make fun of me and my two left feet.
The song fades away in a druggy, groovy haze, which leads me to wanna believe she’s still up there somewhere fuckin’ jamming. Which makes me feel good. I miss you, Amy. Like one of your clear influences, the recently departed Ronnie Specter, you left us far, far too soon.