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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Ah, Imelda May, the immensely talented, charismatic Irish queen of rockabilly. I could save myself some time right now by saying that if you have enjoy her previous music, you will absolutely love “Tribal”. However, as not everybody will have heard her older material and the fact that this album deserves a proper write-up, I won't be that succinct. Back after a four year break between studio albums and after having her and her husband/guitarist Darrel's first child, Violet, it's like there hasn't even been breath drawn between this and previous breakthrough album, “Mayhem”, as right from the moment you press play, it is an energy packed, impeccably-performed attack on the senses. Throughout the album, the husband and wife team battle for who can wow the listener the most with Darrel's scintillating, red-hot guitar work getting the adrenaline pumping and Imelda's peerless vocal talents given a chance to shine on a number of different flavoured songs. Of course, although it is Imelda's name on the cover, it is the combination of the two, together with their tight, talented, energetic band that makes it such a magnificently enjoyable album. The catchy “Tribal”, with it's instantly singable chorus, is a flawless introduction to the record, the anthem in the making, “Wild Woman”, keeps the tempo high and boasts a ridiculously accomplished Darrel Higham guitar solo and “It's Good To Be Alive” is an immensely likeable, feel-good piece. The soulful “Gypsy In Me” gives Imelda the chance to demonstrate just how good she is at those sultry, slow-burning, bluesy ballads, whereas the adorable “Little Pixie” is all about those dreamy, romantic, laid-back rock 'n' roll moments from the fifties and surely must have been written about her new daughter.

We're back to raucous, ballsy rockabilly with “Hellfire Club” but “Five Good Men” takes it up a notch further, boasting frenetic soloing from songwriter Higham on what proves to be one of the highlights on a very good album indeed. The mid-tempo, rhythm-heavy “Ghost Of Love” is a decent enough track, torch song “Wicked Way” is all growling guitars and sleazy muted trumpets and “Round The Bend” is a straightforward rock song about an annoying partner with an almost annoyingly catchy chorus. “I Wanna Dance” is one of the more predictable, lesser tracks on the album, but the blazing “Right Amount Of Wrong” finishes “Tribal” with gutsy style. There's no two ways about it, either this is your thing or it just isn't. If you enjoy fifties music, are a fan of Brian Setzer, his Stray Cats or other similar energetic rockabilly artists well, you're probably already a fan of Imelda May and there's not more I can tell you that you don't already know, apart from the fact that, if you haven't heard it yet, her new album is just as good as her last couple. However, for anyone who has yet to discover Imelda, Darrel and the band, “Tribal” is as good a place to start as any because, if you enjoy this, you'll end up buying everything else anyway and, believe it or not, they are even better live than they are in the studio, especially the power and range of May's voice which is absolutely astonishing. If you are a fan and have yet to catch a live show, that's your next step. You really won't regret it.
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on 28 April 2014
Firstly, may I suggest that you get the Deluxe edition. It may be more expensive but is really worth it for the several, brilliant, extra tracks.You may regret it if you don't have them. Imelda has made a brilliant album here and I'd say that it is her best yet. I think that her excursions with people like Mike Sanchez and Jeff Beck have sharpened her skills. From the title track on it is pretty much all uptempo. I love 'Wild Woman' which will be very wild at her live gigs.' Little Pixie ' is a ballad that is a little slower and reminds me of the vocals of Helen Shapiro for some reason. It all picks up again and she keeps on rockin'. ' I wanna Dance' is great followed by the brilliant 'Right Or Wrong'.'Zombie Girl' is something that wouldn't be amiss on an old 'Cramps' album. I am not too sure about 'Amber Eyes' but I am sure it will grow on me. The final track is a cover ( believe it or not) of the song that Blondie made famous, 'Dreaming', only this version is done to a ukelele accompaniment and it's fun. I know that Wanda Jackson was always marketed as 'The Queen of rockabilly' and I also realise that Imelda just doesn't stick purely to rockabilly, but when she does it she is the Queen without doubt. This album is a good but I do have one criticism about the band. I feel that Imelda is carrying them on occasions & stopping them, thankfully, from veering off into sounding a lot like an Adam & The Ants tribute act. They must step up and be a little more dynamic and not leave it all to Imelda.

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on 3 June 2014
As a fan of Imelda May I have to say this is her best album to date. This album is so fantastic I cant tell you which song is
my favourite song because their was not one song on this album that I didn't like. I'm amazed that someone of her talent
doesn't get enough recognition for her work as well as her talent in the mainstream, this is an album I would recommend to everyone who hasn't heard of Imelda May.
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on 1 April 2016
To me Imelda is simply the greatest. At least in a very long time. The best thing that has happen to rock and roll in about 30 years. After a straight rockabilly debut and two albums with lots of different ideas and styles, she rocks on really hard on this one. It is the hardest and wildest album she have made yet. But at the same time it is perhaps her most melodic. it is thundering and bashing rock, but he had put some great tunes to it.

If you don't know Imelda, you are in for a surprise. She got a fantastic voice. And that is the main thing. You can hear it on all her albums. But this perfect combination of high energy and melodic sweetness is a fine place to start.
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It was some years ago that I first came across Imelda May when she appeared with Jools Holland, and blew me away. Sexy, sassy and with a voice that can do a serious torch song and then something much more risqué, Imelda has a distinctive voice that immediately captures you.

This I think is now her fourth album and it doesn’t disappoint, keeping to the formula that has made her so popular and enjoyable to listen to. Imelda May’s take on Rockabilly is tough, it is rocking, and immediately you know who it is, although that is not to say every track on here is Rockabilly, as for instance something like Wicked Way is definitely raunchy Burlesque. Like all her albums so far this is another well worth adding to your collection, with twelve great tracks that you will want to play again and again. Walk the streets with confidence with this playing in your ears, because no one will mess with you.
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on 1 September 2015
I'm a fan of this artist and have her previous records. This is as good as any of them. I will be seeing her again in Wolverhampton shortly and look forward to seeing these tracks live.
After seeing the excellent Les Paul tribute show DVD I did expect something a little different on this, but, still, I'm not disappointed with the cd.
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on 28 October 2014
imelda is ireland's answer to brian setzer. i was hoping after seeing her on the jools holland
show, she was not a onee hit wonder.

i am not disapionterd. i have been following her career closely and i can say in all honestly
she only gets better each aalbum she does.

honestly do yourself a favour and buy this album. you will be over joyed you did,
and you will be incrouging her to do more.

imelda i look forward to your next effort.

ted turner.
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I only recently discovered Imelda May, so perhaps I'm not the most qualified to write a review. But I absolutely love this CD!

The songs on here are so full of life and energy. It feels like it is a really unique recording, not one of those releases that could be anyone. Her style is very distinctive and unique, and she has really made the music her own.

My favourite song on this album is Gypsy in Me.... But to be honest, I didn't dislike any of the songs.

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on 2 May 2014
I love Imelda May, they way she sings the words of her songs. I have all of her DVD/s. This one is not as lively as her others, but still very good. First seen her on Good morning Breakfast a couple of years ago.
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on 30 May 2014
If you loved her 2 previous CDs, this is for you. I think it is as good as her fantastic Mayhem. No need to say more, this has the trademark ingredients: voice, guitar, fast and slow tunes. Somehow she manages to bring novelty and spice to the old rock n roll genre. Amazing. Must have.
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