Album of the Day-May 21
Imelda May — Love Tattoo
Imelda May — Love Tattoo
When my friend and I were driving around Ireland in 2009, this song “Johnny Got a Boom Boom” was ubiquitous. But somehow it took about four days before we heard a DJ announce that the artist was Imelda May.
A cross between rockabilly, straight-up rock, and a dash of torch Imelda May’s second album Love Tattoo highlights her extraordinary vocal dexterity.
The business side of music likes to be able to package artists into neat little categories as if the masses can’t handle artists with diverse sounds. Well, the Dublin born May stays true to the stubborn Irish stereotype. As a person, I have no idea, but artistically, she’s certainly not one to be packaged into any one category:
There’s the bluesy based “Smotherin’ Me”
The extra big pop sounding and coy “Wild About My Lovin’”
The seductive “Knock 123” that could just as easily be on a Billie Holiday album
“Meet You At The Moon” that despite the production value could’ve been an Andrew Sisters song
“Smokers Song” a fun foot tapper and one of the better songs if you’ve ever been at a bar around for the last call
A bona fide love song with “Falling In Love With You Again”
With 12 songs Love Tattoo clocks in at just under 40 minutes, it’s the rarest of rare albums for 2009, a throwback to when albums were “all killer, no filler.”
Sure, some songs you may not like as much, but what’s two or three minutes when you know on the other side is a song you love? When was the last time you heard that from an artist?
The album was produced by May so the diversity of sound on Love Tattoo is hers, for better or worse. In my opinion, the better. And for a label like Universal to release the reigns on a second album to a new artist like May speaks to the force of talent, and nature, that she is.
The album did well in Ireland, the UK, and France and even managed to chart on the US Billboard Heatseekers Album Chart. I held out hope that Imelda May would crack the code here in the states. I know my friend and I did our part on our respective coasts when we returned.
Anyone who has seen her live has been easily converted. I can attest to that as I the venues grow in size when I saw her live in NYC over six months in 2009 into 2010 — from a little club on the LES (Pianos) to Town Hall in Midtown Manhattan.
Love Tattoo is more than a fun album, it’s a fooking great album. And for women looking for a “girl power” record, this is a very fine example. Ten of the twelve songs were written by Imelda May, one is a cover and one is a traditional that was arranged by Imelda May…and as mentioned, the album was produced by her.
Love Tattoo will tattoo Imelda May in your ears…and your heart.