It was no secret that Amy Winehouse had written the majority of her third studio album, but laying down the final tracks was tragically never meant to be. Instead, we are offered an assortment of unheard tracks, covers and demos that have been tweaked by long-time collaborators Salaam Remi and Mark Ronson that make up Lioness: Hidden Treasures.
The set opens with a rendition of Ruby & The Romantics' 1963 classic 'Our Day Will Come'; a breezy island-tinged reggae jam that was recorded at the beginning of the star's career in 2002. It highlights Amy's immeasurable talent from an early age and poignantly reveals the singer's aspirations that were bursting with hope and romanticism.
Conversely, the collection's next track 'Between The Cheats' - recorded some six years later - still retains Amy's penchant for love-lorn lyricism ("My husband is the finest handsome hustler/ And he still makes this housewife blush"), but it's with a darker and impassioned tone; almost certainly a by-product of her turbulent lifestyle at that time.
'Like Smoke', which includes Winehouse's favourite rapper Nas (the Mr Jones), is overflowing with promise - from Amy's discerning metaphors ("Like smoke, I hung around in the unbalanced") to Remi's smoky production. However, Nas's dominating contribution means that the track was probably far from completion at the time of her death. Meanwhile, the original version of 'Tears Dry' lacks the instant gravitas of what would become its final form, but the '68 version of her Zutons cover 'Valerie' is more successful; allowing her voice to shine without the frenzied backdrop of its parent.
The defining moment of the record arrives at the very end with a haunting rendition of Leon Russell's 'A Song For You' - though it's the Donny Hathaway version she channels here. The track concludes with a heart-wrenching moment of self-awareness where she states, somewhat ironically, that Hathaway "couldn't contain himself; he had something in him". It might lack the consistency and perfectionism of her previous records, but Lioness nonetheless serves as an intriguing insight of an incomparable talent the world has lost.
Tracks to download: 'Our Day Will Come', 'Valerie ('68 Version)', 'Like Smoke', 'Between the Cheats' If you like this, you'll like: Adele, Duffy, Dionne Bromfield
Watch the music video for 'Our Day Will Come' below: