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CD review: Imelda May, 'More Mayhem'

The rockabilly revivalist follows up her sophomore album “Mayhem” with a special edition that adds four completely new tracks and two remixes.
by Brandy McDonnell Published: August 31, 2012


Imelda May ‘More Mayhem' (Decca)

Just how cool is Imelda May? With her 2011 album “Mayhem,” the rockabilly revivalist actually managed to restore Soft Cell's overplayed, obnoxiously synthed-out new wave cover of “Tainted Love,” one of the most repellent earworms of the 1980s, to the former glory of Gloria Jones' soulful little-heard 1965 original version.

With the new souped-up edition of her album, appropriately titled “More Mayhem,” May dares to cover the Patsy Cline classic “Walking After Midnight,” and the vocal powerhouse's jaunty, respectable cover does right by the all-time Queen of Country Music.

Since unleashing her “Mayhem,” May, 38, has shared the stage with Oklahoma's own rockabilly royal Wanda Jackson in New York's Central Park, toured with guitar legend Jeff Beck (with whom she performed a stunning Les Paul tribute at the 2010 Grammys) and even sung for President Barack Obama. Clearly, Decca wants to keep the Irish singer-songwriter's momentum rolling, and “More Mayhem” is a smart, raucous step toward that worthy goal.

May co-wrote 13 of the 15 original tracks on “Mayhem,” which effectively showcased her versatility, mixing rockabilly barnburners like the title track and closer “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” with the blues ode “Too Sad to Cry,” the old-school country hymn “Proud and Humble,” the seductive jazz come-on “All for You,” the charming but macabre big-band number “Inside Out” and even the timeless-sounding “Kentish Town Waltz.”

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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