Is Beyonce and Andre 3000’s ‘Back to Black’ Cover Worthy of ‘The Great Gatsby’?

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Is Beyonce and Andre 3000’s ‘Back to Black’ Cover Worthy of ‘The Great Gatsby’?
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Beyonce

"The Great Gatsby" is hitting theaters on May 10, and critics are already talking about the much-anticipated film. One of the most talked about topics is, of course, Beyonce and Andre 3000's cover of Amy Winehouse's song, "Back to Black." According to Mitch Winehouse, it apparently costs a heap of money to "borrow" one of his late daughter's songs.

Winehouse preferred the song "Back to Black" not be covered- especially by Andre 3000. "I just heard the Andre part of Back to Black. Terrible. He should have let Beyonce do it all," Mitch tweeted after the track's release. You've got to admit that the song was a brilliant choice. With its dark undertones and dreamy, jazzy sound it's perfect for the backdrop of "Gatsby," which director Baz Luhrmann calls an epic tale of love with "new-age musical sparkle."

Jay-Z's "Gatsby" Vision

Jay-Z was at the helm of the soundtrack and he definitely knew what he was doing when he positioned his wife to refashion an Amy Winehouse song. Bey's cohort on the track, Andre 3000, has some experience creating material for a period film. He performed a "chopped and screwed" version of "She Lives in My Lap" (from his "Love Below" album) for a darker scene in "Idlewild," a movie set during the 1930s. Critics panned "Idlewild's" colorful vision, but others loved his musical spin on the era.

"Chopped and Screwed"

It's the bare bones reproduction that is probably disappointing fans who were surprised by the new track's "chopped and screwed" slant. Adding modern music to period films can be tricky. It was successfully done in "Moulin Rouge" and "A Knight's Tale." Amy's song was apparently being used for one of the darker moments of the movie, in which case the song is likely more than appropriate.

Does Beyonce Play It Safe?

On "Back to Black's" updated edition, Beyonce's trademark powerhouse vocals have been swapped for a sweeter approach. Depending upon your tastes, this may or may not be good news. It's natural to expect high octane runs from Mrs. Sasha Fierce, but some critics complain that the heart-wrenching emotion of Amy's original has been muffled considerably. After taking heat for her aggressiveness in "Bow Down/I Been On," addressing the song from a more vulnerable angle might have been a better idea for Beyonce.

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