At first glance, it’s her hair that strikes you. Then, her wardrobe. Intrigued by a sexy blast from the past.
But it’s her voice you want to hear.
She hails from Ireland, yet betrays no accent in her raspy, finite delivery of lyrics. If only Imelda May would cross the Atlantic, she could be the next Taylor Swift of blues-rockabilly-jazz.
OK. Not Taylor Swift. Consider this: a little bit of Michael Buble’s take on “Save the Last Dance for Me,” a tinge of Ella Fitzgerald’s lazy jazz voice, and the full-blown intensity of Christina Aguilera at the height of her anthems. Don’t be misled by my comparison–Imelda May is a much greater sum of these parts (and others). As her MySpace profile describes, her music is unique.
It’s a Love Story
Love Story, indeed–if it comes in the shape of a tattoo. Her album Love Tattoo is a mixture of upbeat hip-shakers crossed with slower blues-y songs. She’s at her best at quicker rhythms where her vocal ferocity blows you away. “Smotherin’ Me,” “Wild About My Lovin'” and “Love Tattoo” are favorites!
In this video, Imelda May and her band perform two tracks from Love Tattoo: a faster-than-recorded version of “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” (hotness) and “Falling in Love With You Again,” a slower, simple romantic song (heart-melting, for sure).
May also has a great musical arrangement across the board. In particular, “Big Bad Handsome Man,” a sultry number, features a trumpet solo and a piano line that acts as a rhythmic skeleton–I’m surprised I’m not dancing across the room with my laptop as I type this. I’m definitely impressed by the quality of instrumental performances on this album.
Another Album to Burn
“Knock 123” and other slower songs drag down the record. Though delicate piano solos delight the ears, the somnolent bass line is too slow, too boring.
You could say the lyrics are predictable. If you know how to rhyme, most songs contain predictable lyrics, right?
Tied Together With (or Without) a Smile
Imelda May is awesome. Check her out on MySpace, Facebook, and in the UK (apparently).Imelda May Love Tattoo Buy it here!