Imelda May: Tribal

Fri, Apr 25, 2014, 00:00



Imelda May



Tricky thing, rockabilly. Too loud, fast and punked up and it’s psychobilly; too gentle and it’s pre-pop mush. Imelda May has been at the commercial end of the genre for some years now, but never, it seems, at the expense of authenticity. Tribal, her first album since 2010’s Mayhem, lands with an astute mix of signature creative riffs: the first three tracks (Tribal, Wild Woman and It’s Good to Be Alive – pop/rockabilly to an ironed-and-creased T) bolt like rabbits from a trap, but it’s the other songs that show how far May has come in the last 11 years. Blending film noir-like theme songs (Gypsy in Me – think Doris Day slapping Barbara Stanwyck) with burning- and emotive torch ballads (Little Pixie), May upends expectations and fractures perceptions. She’s so good at her game,it’s unlikely anyone else could usurp her position.

Download: Tribal, Gypsy in Me, Little Pixie