IMELDA MAY – ‘Life. Love. Flesh. Blood’ (Decca)
Imelda May’s first album since her split with husband Darrel Higham, marks not only a change of image but also a shift in musical direction. The songs are self-penned and lay bare the journey from broken heart to a strong resurgence, so personal it’s like an intrusion at times. Heartstrings are well and truly tugged. Imelda’s voice has never sounded stronger, soaring in ‘Should’ve Been You’ with feeling that can only come straight from the heart. Musically, mostly ballads with hints of country, blues noir, gospel and little rockabilly twang. Be sure this is uplifting too, there’s refreshing down home normality sprinkled with humour in ‘Bad Habit’. In ‘Levitate’ you know that this girl may have been hurt but is bouncing right back. It’s in ‘How Bad Can A Good Girl Be’ when she purrs ‘I want to peak with you, feel you in me’ you know her heart’s not only mended, she’s morphed from a rockabilly curiosity flirting with the mainstream into its full on darling.