Irish rockabilly sensation Imelda May’s fourth album, “Tribal” continues building upon the momentum of her previous two albums, “Love Tattoo” (released in 2007) and “Mayhem” (2011). Keeping in stride with these previous albums, “Tribal” is a fresh addition to her rockabilly, blues, and rock-n-roll brand.
May has established herself as the undisputed queen of modern rockabilly. Fresh, yet laden with traditional rockabilly sound, her brand is an extension of the classic sound of Brian Setzer and The Stray Cats. More impressively, May’s full alto cabaret/50s night club voice keeps shining through on each track. By blending story-teller lyric with an authentic vocal, Imelda May develops a unique and fresh rockabilly sound seldom heard.
The strength of “Tribal” is in the variety, uniqueness, yet familiarity of each track. May ably blends her strong voice and hard hitting guitars into uniquely crafted playful tunes, forceful tracks, and sultry ballads. To this point, “Tribal” encompasses a spectrum of the rockabilly style while staying in familiar territory for the listener. While each track has subtle nuances and borrows elements of other musical genres, Imelda May stays true to the rockabilly traditions. By pushing its limits, she creates a fresh musical sound without alienating her listeners with unfamiliar tunes.
The first song being release is track #3 – “It’s Good to Be Alive”. Fun and playful, it is sure to be an instant hit for Imelda May. Along these same lines, May delivers the goods with the frustratingly happy “Round the Bend” and closing track “Right Amount of Wrong”.
The title track “Tribal”, along with “Wild Woman”, “Five Good Men”, and “I Wanna Dance” displays this hard charging rock that has become May’s signature sound. Each is a foot stomping upbeat track sure to get anyone’s heart pounding.
“Hellfire Club” and Ghost in Love both demonstrate her storyteller quality while crafting a complimentary backdrop of sound.
The ballads included on “Tribal” range from the sweet (“Little Pixies”) to the dark and sultry (“Gypsy in Me” and “Wicked Way”). Imelda May demonstrates a cabaret singer’s swagger, moving the listener to feel the emotion of each song.
After the highly successful “Mayhem” album, “Tribal” lives up to its promise. “Tribal” stays right “in the pocket”, almost sounding like an extension of Mayhem. For fans of Imelda May, “Tribal” will not disappoint. For newcomers to Imelda May, this album will surely leave them wanting more.