London [1994]

Amy Winehouse scored a UK hit with 2003's Frank, but her follow-up is another story. Released in 2007, Back to Black blew up worldwide. So, the bouffant belter took her soulful show on the road. It turned out to be a short trip; after only a few dates, she canceled her North American tour due to "severe exhaustion." Fortunately, I Told You I Was Trouble captures the petite powerhouse before personal problems sidelined her for the rest of the year. Recorded live at London's Shepherd's Bush, Winehouse and nine-piece ensemble, including two smooth-moving back-up singers, blast through 13 originals and four covers, including the Zutons' "Valerie" and the Specials' "Hey Little Rich Girl." Vivacious voice aside, Winehouse looks uncomfortable at times, alternately awkward and endearing. Yes, she drinks, but insecurity appears to be as much to blame as (possible) inebriation, though she does loosen up after awhile. And there's some good stuff here, especially the Ronettes-inspired "Back to Black" and "Rehab." As her albums attest, Winehouse is one of the decade's most electrifying artists, but the stage may not be the best showcase for her abilities--not yet, at any rate. While I Told You I Was Trouble isn't the triumph it could've been, it isn't a train wreck either. The informative 50-minute documentary features interviews with Winehouse, her proud papa, and the A&R representative who signed her to Island Records. One of the lady's more interesting revelations: "The more insecure I get, the bigger my hair has to be." --Kathleen C. Fennessy

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