Gypsy Spirit on Imelda May's Tribal

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Imelda May’s Tribal maintains her authentic sound, though—as with her previous albums—Imelda is never just about rockabilly.  The primary sound is rockabilly and no wonder with Darrel Higham for a husband and band mate.  So you are guaranteed great guitar throughout, yet Imelda May’s music is certainly not a single groove. If there is a weakness in Tribal it’s its variety.  It would be nice to hear more songs in certain of the directions explored on Tribal.

Tribal enters the room, chin up with attitude, with pure rock and roll with “Tribal” leading followed by “Wild Woman” before settling down to more traditional rockabilly with “It’s Good to be Alive.” The first two could be The Runaways with great new material.  After those three songs things get more varied, but Higham’s guitar and Imelda’s voice are brilliant together throughout.

A Couple of Good James Bond Themes and A Variety Pack

There are some notable branches off from the traditional rock and roll and rockabilly here, including the 50s girl-band sound of “Little Pixie” and jazz-blues “Gypsy in Me” and the tribal, Celtic-rock sound of “Ghost of Love.” The latter could easily serve as a great James Bond theme.  Yeah, it’s varied—and you may miss that variety if you go in thinking it’s rockabilly.  It’s a lot more than that. “Wicked Way” also belongs with Bond and yet the next one is 80s punk.... It’s varied, but it’s good.

If you are looking for rockabilly though, the last two tunes on the album won’t let you down.  “I Wanna Dance” and “Right Amount of Wrong” are more traditional. When you look at Tribal as a whole it’s the kind of mix that sounds like it is going somewhere together, not too far from its rockabilly roots—but somewhere new, once all the threads are brought together. 

http://imeldamay.co.uk/

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