All good things come from the U.K. -- first there was the House of Commons, then there was U.K. itself, and now we get to enjoy the supercool songs of Amy Winehouse (top) and Lily Allen (bottom). What's ironic about this dual mentioning is that supposedly they're at each other's throats... but the music is fine with a capital "ph."
Winehouse sounds like she just stepped out of a lost Shangri-Las album and sings with melancholic, booze-tinged precision. She sounds like she's enjoying every minute of what she's doing, and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious. I usually don't roll with the flashy female solo vocals (i.e. Nelly, Rihanna, Beyonce, etc...) but Amy does it for me. She's dope and new -- and, frankly, she sounds like she could gut my ass with a shattered Bass bottleneck in a barfight, and I like that in a broad.
Lily Allen is another solo-female-vocal thing going on, but again, there's some kind of statistical-nullifier that elevates her above Stefani or Fergie. Her tones are so light and sweet, almost like listening to a petunia; the trick of setting her off to a neo-ska thing is perhaps the one forceful shove she needed to enter my brain. When I saw her do her single "Shine" on SNL a few weeks back, I was convinced of her live vocal prowess. After all, she could have been just another studio-created monster (looking your way, Kelis).
Sample these tunes at will, buy the rest of the damn albums. Especially Winehouse -- her "Back to Black" album is reaching for something different, and I have to throw some bucks the bitch's way so she can keep on doing it.
Winehouse: "Rehab", from "Back to Black"
Allen: "Friday Night", from "Alright, Still"