Belle’s new single ‘Baby Don’t Cry’ evokes a cleaner Winehouse-type feel
Amy Winehouse won her first Grammys in 2007 for her mega-hit “Rehab,” and the equally brilliant if a little more impressive “Back to Black.” Before she died too soon in 2011, Ms. Winehouse won six Grammys and was nominated for eight in total. She’s done more than that, though, she’s also spawned a genre in her own right almost.
While Amy had huge success, there’s also been a boon for “Winehouse-ish” artists since her passing. Artists like Lily Allen, Poe, Little Jackie, or even some tracks by Macy Grey all have evoked that same kind of feeling that Winehouse perfected in her 27 short years on this planet.
Lucinda Belle, also a UK native, has that makeup to her, as well, although on her new single of her upcoming album she’s a little “cleaner” than Winehouse. Cleaner in her musical feel, that is.
By the time you get to the hook of “Baby Don’t Cry,” it’s clear within the first few notes that there’s heavy inspiration from “Back to Black,” although it’s not a straight tribute.
Whereas the undertone beneath Winehouse’s songs crawled under your skin and refused to leave, Belle has a touch of innocence to her that’s a unique contrast. When she sings “Baby don’t cry for the love that you left behind, you know that rivers run deep but the heart is blind,” you believe the meaning to be true.
When she’s not crooning, Belle plays the harp, which given the nature of the instrument, it’s no wonder that she encapsulates that kind of melancholy feeling that plays well with minor chords in 4/4 time. It may surprise you in how quickly the song ends. I’ve listened to the single at least four times before writing this review and it hardly feels like I played it once or twice.
After several years in the United Kingdom and her first album with Island Records, Belle makes her way to the US with her second album and plans to collaborate with the musical community here carrying an elegance of old school classic Hollywood.
Considered a child prodigy at the harp, many expected Belle would continue on to have a successful career in classical music. Instead, she became enamored by many types of music, from classical to jazz, pop to hip hop, blues to reggae, and created a sound that is entirely her own.
Listening to the track, I kept picturing myself in a swanky nightclub with her wearing a shiny nightgown and a full orchestra behind her as she feeds the crowd out of the palm of her hand with her musical talent brimming from the seams of the song.
Belle’s new album drops later this year. While I wouldn’t say she’s going to replicate what Winehouse made for herself, you wouldn’t expect anyone to do that. She’s her own woman, her own artist, and her own genius that’s ready to blow up and take the musical world by storm. It should be quite the journey no matter where she ends up.