"Like Smoke"

The wise pop music fan learned long ago to be wary of Ambulance Chaser Music – records scrambled into the marketplace soon after the death of a beloved star. "Like Smoke," the first taste of Amy Winehouse's forthcoming posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures, is a classic Ambulance Chaser. It's a transparent patchwork job, stitching together a retro-soul vamp (with velvety production from Salaam Remi), some pleasant but undistinguished singing from Winehouse, and a slew of so-so rhymes from Nas (including a verse that, incongruously, tips a hat to Occupy Wall Street). It's not a song, exactly. Call it a songlet, if you like. Or maybe just call it a cash-grab. Winehouse's Back to Black was one of the most rigorously realized records in recent memory. It's a disservice to her memory to put out music this half-baked.

Listen to "Like Smoke":

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