On her fifth studio album, Imelda May has taken a turn away from the blistering rockabilly that has been her calling card. Under sure guidance from T-Bone Burnett and his team, May has made an album of dusky Americana peppered with torch song jazz, British soul, and touches of blues.
Her 2015 divorce clearly influenced the album, with songs of heartbreak and rebuke, but there is also a sense of passion for love and life. This album showcases May’s wonderful voice and amazing stylistic range that people only familiar with her albums would have been unaware of. However, people who remember her work with longtime May booster Jeff Beck, and the long list of other luminaries (eg Lou Rawls, Jools Holland, and Tom Jones) will not be surprised.
While only time will tell for sure, this album seems to mark a turn into a more varied style, with a deeper sense of self and connection that one might get from the wild rockabilly of her previous albums. It certainly gives much greater play to her great vocal range and flexibility.
Recommendation: Buy It
Tracks I Have a playlist for: Call Me, Black Tears, Sixth Sense, How Bad Can a Good Girl Be
Tracks that I will Thumbs Down: The Girl I Used to Be
I’m fond of a a lot (though not all) of rockabilly, and I really like this Irish Rockabilly star, Imelda May. She’s got a great band behind her for her sound. And the guy on the upright bass just rocks this song out.