Imelda May – Life Love Flesh Blood review: ‘her most personal collection’
Having spent her apprenticeship as Jeff Beck’s crooner-in-chief, Imelda May has always seemed like a singer first and a solo artist second.
But that looks set to change on Life. Love. Flesh. Blood, her most personal collection to date.
Written in the wake of her divorce from her husband of 18 years, bluesy ballads such as Call Me and Black Tears throb with emotion, the 42-year-old Dubliner sounding like Eva Cassidy at her most bereft.
She can still do the hair-dryer stuff — as showcased on Should Have Been You’s thrilling crescendo — although, by and large, this is an album of subtle charms: the Latin-infused How Bad Can a Good Girl Be; the smoky jazz of Sixth Sense.
Apparently Jools Holland plays piano at some point but don’t let that put you off: this is the unmistakeable sound of an artist finally, thrillingly, finding her own voice.