Studio Album by released in 2010
Mayhem's tracklist:
Pulling the Rug
Kentish Town Waltz
All for You
Inside Out
Proud and Humble
Sneaky Freak
Bury My Troubles
Too Sad to Cry
I'm Alive
Let Me Out
Tainted Love
Johnny Got a Boom Boom (remix)

Mayhem review

Imelda May, the Irish rockabilly star

Thirty-six year old Irish singer Imelda May performing contagious rockabilly – a style of rock-n-roll with addition of country and blues – released her debut album No Turning Back in 2005, and only a few people noticed her potentials. The audience really tasted May’s music only with the sophomore effort Love Tattoo released two years ago with singles Big Bad Handsome Man and Johnny Got A Boom Boom to follow last year. The record became multi-platinum, and the number of fans immediately increased several times. Perhaps, the singer’s success secret is her tough and very emotional vocals, or it is the topics in Imelda’s songs like love, beauty, life trifles all flavored with irony, humor or sarcasm. Whatever it is, Imelda May’s third album Mayhem is built around the same formula as the breakthrough creation and pleases wit the most positive mood throughout.

The lazily playful album Mayhem

The general atmosphere on the album Mayhem can be characterized as danceable but not tense, or lazily playful. Irish words and phrases make each composition more charming with Imelda rarely allowing her to be sad or melancholic. The album opens with the track Pulling The Rug which sums up the record's entire contents with its vivid lively rhythm and the contrast between a relaxed verse and more intensive chorus. Psycho finds Imelda singing in a bit new manner for her taking high notes sharply and unexpectedly which does add some nervousness and suits the track’s title. The title track Mayhem is remarkable for a memorable tune set by guitar and underlined by the sax whereas Kentish Town Waltz is the first ballad on the record with a swinging tune and romantic lyrics. The track Bury My Troubles can well be considered one of the most optimistic on the album which is emphasized by both the joyful tune and Imelda’s singing while the slow song Too Sad To Cry could be easily performed in a luxurious restaurant for it is quite relaxing and mesmerizing. The interesting mid-tempo song I'm Alive is refined with a Mexican styled tube and a country chorus, and a contagious number Let Me Out is a bright rebuff with ironic lyrics. The album closes with the cover of Tainted Love – it is not the worst version but not the album’s best track – and a bonus Johnny Got A Boom Boom (Remix), a song that still remains one of the most popular in May’s repertoire.

Different images and a recognizable style

Curled up hair with a decolorized lock above her forehead, penciled upper eye-lids, leopard belts, tops and dresses – Imelda May’s style is always recognizable. The singer is married to her band’s guitarist David Higham and her real name is Imelda Mary Higham. Besides the guitar such instruments as double bass, drums, and harmonica are involved in her band, and the singer herself masterfully plays the bodhran, a traditional Irish tambourine. The perfect arrangements on the album’s 15 tracks leave no doubt about the musicians’ talent, and their matched playing together with Imelda’s ability to make accents on certain sounds make each of her creations original and memorable. Moreover it seems like different singers perform the up-tempo songs and ballads for she gets so deep into the image of a bold self-confident and yet playful girl or that of an elegant sensual diva. Thus, Mayhem is a great continuation of Imelda May’s career which is sure to offer us more surprises and good news in the future.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (25.10.2010)
Rate review2.45
Total votes - 20

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