THE BONES OF J.R. JONES – DARK WAS THE YEARLING

Dark Was the Yearling

From the get-go, this album is serious.  Calling forth the ancestral wails of Appalachia and the dirty, sad soul of the Southern Delta in a stern mixture of truth, anger, fire, and – if you look under enough rocks – love; this, the second effort from The Bones of J.R. Jones, doesn’t disappoint.  If you’re looking for something simple, something to play in the background, something that doesn’t grab what’s left of your soul, then look elsewhere, for you won’t find that here.  This is music to get angry to, to do some stomping to, to cuss out your past, forlorn lovers to, to make cross love to, to let go to and wander unfettered into an old soul, an old sound that makes itself relevant and timely by the sheer brilliance of what it does.  It is obvious a lot of thought and sweat went into the making of this album and it pays off as it grabbed my attention from the start and when, at infrequent times, the music might have lost its grasp on me, I found myself getting lost in the lyrics and the emotion and the feel of what is being done here and, to be perfectly honest, it feels good.

There is a heartfelt, beautiful simplicity found throughout the album, more noticeable on some songs (Hearts Racing, The Dark, The Plan) that others, but present throughout.  While the first offering from this artist came at you like a vindictive runaway train, there seems to be a bit of a different aesthetic at work here, as if a different part of the heart was explored for some of this music, a part that holds a mildly sad and forsaken longing for things to be just a little different, whether it be a mindful musing on the past, or a mountain lake blue look towards a future almost bereft of hope.  I felt this album all through its entirety.  It affected me.  It made me aware of things that I thought I had suppressed and, at times, it lulled me into a numb, world weary complacency only to bring me slamming right back to the present with a wry smile and a gentle, reassuring pat on the back.

My advice: spend some time with this this album, with this artist.  Feel his emotions and his love and his indignation and let it get under your skin.  Don’t think you’ve heard it after having only heard it once; else you’ll be doing yourself a great disservice.  Seriously.  Listen to this album, suck it in, ponder it, let it consume you, run away from it, put it aside and come back to it, feel it.  Every time I listen to it I hear and feel something entirely different from the time before and it just makes me want to smile and nod like I know something.

Good Friend Of Mine
Fury of The Light

The Bones of J.R. Jones – The Wildness EP

We are all sinners, we know this, and if you’re ready to celebrate your inevitable journey to the darkness, then buckle up, shut up, and just listen to this EP. With their music, emotions, and words, The Bones of J.R. Jones have captured my soul – with all of the pain and sadness and anger and love that it contains, with the darkness and the light, the love and hate – so damn deftly that at times, to be honest, it scares me. They switch between coming at you with hellfire and damnation preaching their version of the truth to suddenly, almost magically, bringing it down and back where they reach right into your chest and rip your heart out, leaving you wondering what the fuck just happened and where did these bullshit emotions come from.

There is a malevolent force at work here, but it is one that is strangely familiar, lurking just underneath the surface throughout almost all of their songs on The Wildness EP. This intrigues me, frightens me somewhat, but mostly enchants me and draws me in with my love for the strangely macabre and obscure. The 2nd track, La La Liar channels Denver’s angry and pious David Eugene Edwards with a tangible gothic revival vibe to it that feels like it’s been hanging around your consciousness for years, something akin to putting on an old, run down pair of your most comfortable shoes. This is also where the real darkness starts to seep in and, at this point, they’re just getting started.

The EP continues on to meander through myriad different genres of music and each song has a deftness to it that defies categorization. At times easy going, then pissed off and coming at you with a raised fist, then back to making you feel like you’re rambling down a dusty and worn road leading to a salvation that only your heart knows of, that can only be found by reaching the end of your journey, road-weary and beaten down, but ultimately content, familiar like an old, old friend with whom the conversation can pick up after years between installments. That is what this EP represents to me – a timeless conversation that is comfortable, yet bears a mild mark of melancholy for its inevitable end. This EP leaves me wanting more, and I know I’ll get it, and I’m anxious for it. This is the People’s Music – brutal, honest, dirty, sometimes mean, but lovely all at the same time. This music can make you sweat, or it might be that it just helps you realize that your sins are what are making you sweat, but sometimes you have to let go and trust that the artist knows what he is doing. The Bones of J.R. Bones deserve your trust, and your time, and ultimately, your love and appreciation.

The Bones of J.R. Jones – La La Liar
The Bones of J.R. Jones – Free

The Bones of J.R. Jones’ Official Site, The Bones of J.R. Jones on Facebook, The Bones of J.R. Jones on Spotify, Buy The Wildness EP

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS — PUSH THE SKY AWAY

For me, Nick Cave has always been at his best when he’s full of hellfire and wrath and is on stage, fervently preaching about love and death and the death of love, growling at us through his aggressive anger, fanatically slamming his fists and wildly stomping his feet. This album is a departure from that – in a way. If you’re looking for the churning, anger driven music so often equated with Nick Cave, go listen to Grinderman. This album has it, but you have to listen for it, you actually have to spend some energy to find it, and allow yourself to let go of your preconceived notions. The music is sparse, almost minimalistic, but each instrument has something to say, and if you cock your head just right, close your eyes, and drift away with the music, then you’ll hear the angst and ire and the foot stomping Nick Cave, for it is always there, it is just under a different guise on this most recent effort.

What appears at first to be spare, simple instrumentation is actually exceptionally powerful. Cave realizes that he doesn’t need to drown the listener in sound to get his point across on this album, and he plies these waters as deftly as you’d expect from a veteran songwriter such a Cave. He has always known when to bring it down and when to punch you in the face and tell you to Fuck Off. Cave knows that a song’s power derives from the sentiment, the soul of the lyric and the clarity of the music, regardless of whether it’s loud or fast or if it’s subtle and quiet and creeps up on you like the pedophile in the dark park. Here, he is brooding, introspective, stepped down from his soapbox and it seems as though the hellfire has left his eyes….or has it.

Well here comes Lucifer,
With his canon law,
And a hundred black babies runnin’ from his genocidal jaw
He got the real killer groove
Robert Johnson and the devil man
Don’t know who’s gonna rip off who

~Higgs Boson Blues

It’s there, underneath all the layers that he has so artfully built on this album. His timidity is a ruse, for on the 3rd track you expect it to blow open any minute, but as a practiced songster, Cave holds that tension in his slightly trembling hand and delivers the torpid lyrics deftly, ultimately winding it down without letting you down. Track 4, Jubilee Street, opens in a heroin haze of Lou Reed’s Pale Blue Eyes with the languid guitar and tambourine and rambles through a story that breaks your heart while filling you with wilting hope.

I got love in my tummy and a tiny little pain
And a 10 ton catastrophe on a 60 pound chain
Pushing my wheel of love up Jubilee Street

~Jubilee Street

This album lives right at the point on the horizon where the endless sea merges with the sky and it’s so close, the sky is right there, that you can almost taste it, the poison on your tongue, and it seems as though Cave is still trying to find the meaning to it all while ultimately realizing it doesn’t matter, at all. Every time I listen to this album I find something new about it that I like, that speaks to me, but I had to shed all my preconceived ideas about what I thought the next Nick Cave album needed to be before I was able to fully appreciate it. If you can’t do that, then I’d suggest moving on to something else, for this album requires patience and pain and a willingness to just listen, to absorb, to feel.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Water’s Edge
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Jubilee Street

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ Official Site, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on Facebook, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on Spotify, Buy Push The Sky Away

JD McPHERSON — SIGNS & SIGNIFIERS

I have been a fan of rockabilly for a very, very long time. While I don’t roll around every day dressed like a character from The Wild One, I’ve got my rockabilly tattoos, I settle for no less than 4” cuffs, and I still pomp my hair on occasion. I’ve seen bands come and go and, to be perfectly honest, it is has been a good amount of time since I’ve actually been excited about a new artist in this genre. It’s hard to bring something unique to the table in a genre that has been around for as long as rockabilly has been without having to rely on camp or gimmicks to get it done. JD McPherson, a greaser from Oklahoma, relies on neither of those, his music is true and honest and you can feel that he just gets it. He takes what can be a tired and played-out genre and reinvigorates it with the low growl in his voice, the deft twists in articulation that shows he is emotionally invested in the lyrics and music, and the group of remarkable musicians he has put together and the way the instrumentation is seamlessly crafted in a very subtle, but masterful manner. His punk rock roots show through in that the vast majority of songs on this album clock in at under 3 minutes, but when you’re listening to them, they feel much longer than that and they just seem to reach out, grab you by your unmentionables, and pull you in, making you want to do whatever it is you love to do when listening to good music.

To call this a rockabilly album is actually doing it a disservice, as there are such obvious influences from boogie woogie, rhythm and blues, and western swing as well as other venerable genres to be found among the tracks. This album transcends any kind of genre pigeonholing and anyone who enjoys good music done by talented musicians can dig this album, from beginning to end. Yes, the music has a retro, 50s feel to it, but it is much more than just a rockabilly album and if you allow yourself to disregard it just because of that, then you’re going to miss out on a great group of songs performed by some kick-ass musicians who are apologetically nostalgic for a day when music was pure, simple, and honest.

North Side Gal opens the album and it opens it well as a masterfully crafted ditty that revs you up and gets you going. The meat of the album comes in the middle and starts with the title track Signs & Signifiers, which is a hypnotic, churning slow burn with the clacking of the upright bass sounding like the devil’s metronome — it makes me want to glower at strangers and fume about all that is fucked up in this world. After that, it’s just one great song after another, with the album ending with two of my favorites – Your Love (All That I’m Missing) and Scandalous. Don’t listen to this album alone, listen to it with some friends and some alcohol and some pretty people around that you might want to dance with; otherwise you’ll end up just dancing with yourself.

JD McPherson – North Side Gal
JD McPherson – Scandalous
JD McPherson – Signs & Signifiers

JD McPherson’s Official Site, JD McPherson on Spotify, JD McPherson on Facebook, Buy Signs and Signifiers

SHEARWATER — ANIMAL JOY

I love the shadows, the misty-eyed dramatic, the nefarious underbelly of human emotions.  This is why I revel in the myriad shades of grey found in the dewy Pacific Northwest, which I sought out as an escape from the soulless sun, the superficial brilliance, and the oppressive banality of California some 20-odd years ago.  This is also why I tend seek out the pure emotions offered by Americana music and its never-ending array of earnest songwriting and heartfelt musicianship.  Honest and genuine artists such as Shearwater encompass all that I have come to expect from this ever expanding genre that, to me, encompasses everything this country was supposed to stand for.

I was first given a Shearwater album by a friend some years ago, but it sat, untouched, on my phone until one dreary, obscure afternoon where I found myself on the shore-side of Puget Sound, wallowing in some dark reflection that had seized control of my psyche that day.  On a whim, I started listening and from the first chord, the first breathy, quivering vocal, the first soul-exposing lyric, their music spoke to my ghosts as few bands ever have.  They fueled my melancholy and played an amazing soundtrack to my murky musings.

This new album does not disappoint.  It is different, granted, but it is so in subtle ways only a fan of their music would notice.  It is more orchestrated, it is apparent that time was spent on the smallest of details and the emotions these details conveyed.  The songs are wider ranging; they cover more ground and do so with exquisite grace and poise.  Now, I don’t like bands that welter in despair just because they’re all doom and gloom and they think that’s all there is – Shearwater is not that.  No, instead, Shearwater takes us there and shows us the splendor of sadness and the honesty behind true emotions; they don’t shy away from painful topics and dealing with them in song.  There is much that I love about Shearwater, but they’re the type of band that speaks to different people on different levels and, at least in my opinion, are better left to be discovered in an intimate, personal way, so I’m not going to go on and on about how great I think this album is.  Instead, I’ll point out three songs that touched me, and I’ll let our readers discover if Shearwater’s music speaks to them.

Animal Life – A romp through all the atmospheric sensuality that is Shearwater.  This song grabbed me from the get-go and refused to release me.  The ambling melody and potent harmonies strummed my soul-wires beautifully.

You As You Were – the build on this song is breathtaking in how it just grows and grows and grows and then, right when you’re about to burst, it ends and the delicate pause at the conclusion is almost enough to break your heart.

Immaculate – jumps on you right away with a driving beat and dynamic guitars matched by soaring, aggressive vocals.  Great song!

Shearwater’s Official Site, Shearwater on Facebook, Shearwater on Spotify, Buy Animal Joy

The Top 10 List of Hoss

This is not a list of the Top 10 albums of this year. This is a list of the top albums that touched me this year, that I couldn’t stop listening to, that spoke to me or grabbed me in some way and wouldn’t let go. Some are from 2011, and some aren’t. I’m winging it, so just try to enjoy.

14. Kronos Quartet – Floodplain (2009)

Get your butt on Spotify or whatever music service you use and check out this album. More specifically, listen to track #5, Wa Habbi (Beloved). To me, the violin is the very voice of the devil and it embodies all the pain and suffering and angst and torture that life has to give, and this song, the way the violin is played on this song, does something to me that is very hard to express in simple words. Listen, if you get it you get it, if you don’t, then you’ll find it somewhere else, I’m sure. The Kronos Quartet is simply amazing. If you get a chance and haven’t already, acquaint yourself with their music….if you like string quartets and constantly push and challenge the conceptions of what a string quartet should be doing.

13. Adele – 21 (2011)

Many people will say “overplayed, mainstream schlock” when I list this album. Well, those people can eat it. Adele simply has an amazing voice and this album has two songs that slay me – Lovesong, one of the best Cure covers ever and Someone Like You, which almost always makes my heart hit the floor whenever I hear it. If you can’t get over yourself and appreciate a truly gifted singer, then you’re missing out.

12. Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest (2011)

It’s always good when an artist that you love and respect goes back and finds their roots, finds the things that made you fall in love with them in the first place, and then brings them back and makes them relevant again. Gillian and David did that on this album. They went back to doing what they do well – tell devastatingly honest stories with soaring harmonies and amazing musicianship. However, they didn’t just go and make an album just like one they might have made 10 years ago, they brought everywhere they’ve been and everything they’ve learned since the beginning and tapped into it to make an album that hearkens back to their roots without forgetting about the miles of road they’ve traveled in the meantime.

11. The Red Romance – EP (2007)

Ok. This EP is 4 years old. So what? I just found these guys and ALL of these songs were in constant rotation all year long and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere soon…mostly because I don’t even think this band exists anymore. Hah! Power pop that hearkens back to 70s R&B and soul and The Commitments and, well, just about anything you can think of. These songs have serious hooks and are hard to deny. They aren’t deep, they don’t solve all of the world’s problems, but they’re upbeat, well done, and damn fun to listen to.

10. Foo Fighters – Wasting Light (2011)

Being a Seattle guy, I’ve frequently found that people assume I have some predetermined allegiance to all things Nirvana….well, screw that. I’ve never been a big Nirvana fan, and I didn’t jump on the Foo Fighter bandwagon until this most recent album, and even then, I did so timidly. With that being said, now that I’ve found the Foo Fighters I’m not letting go and, frankly, this album fucking rocks! However, I don’t think the album really starts until the 5th song…but after that, it’s solid power-rock done well, with ripping riffs and unyielding vocals, meaningful lyrics and the appropriate level of angst.

9. Young the Giant – Young the Giant (2011)

Pure pop fluff…but damn, sometimes there’s just nothing better than pop fluff! I can’t put my finger on what it is that attracts me to these guys, but they’re always in my playlist and I never get tired of listening to a good 5-6 tracks off of this album, which is more than I can say for some other albums that were supposed to be the bee’s knees this year.

8. Glasvegas – Euphoric Heartbreak (2011)

I was cautiously optimistic about the sophomore offering from this Glasgow outfit. Their first album is still among my most favorite, and I wasn’t sure how they’d be able to follow it up. Euphoric Heartbreak doesn’t disappoint and stands out as one of the albums that really touched me this year. Their particular brand of ethereal, poignant indie-rock speaks to me, it encapsulates all of the heartbreak and sorrow I’ve ever felt in my life and lays it out there for me to lap up like warm milk. Their haunting melodies wrap me in a warm, familiar melancholia that is comforting, that tells me I’m not alone in this world and that I’ll never be forgotten.

7. Mariachi El Bronx – Mariachi El Bronx II (2011)

Who doesn’t love hardcore punk bands doing side projects that involve trumpets and really big ass bass guitars?? These buys bring it as a punk band, and then deliver it as Mariachi El Bronx. I love it when musicians explore different genres and styles and are not afraid to push the boundaries of their ability. I never get tired of listening to these guys!

6. Shearwater – Golden Archipelago (2010)

It was a daunting task, following up their Rook release, for that, to me, was a masterpiece of gloom and doom and honestly expressed emotion. At first, this album didn’t speak to me too much….but then I found it slowly creeping up on me when I least expected it, tapping me on the shoulder and reminding me to feel, to embrace and be comfortable with the all of the deep, dark secret places where emotions and fear live. High tremolo nights and the fearful heart-swoosh of freefalling into oblivion, sweet nothingness.

5. Drag the River – Bad at Breaking Up (2009)

In keeping with the punk-rock bands expressing themselves through different genres, here’s another album I came late to but have latched on to like a blood-starved leech. These guys just do what they do damn well. They’re like an old diner that serves the world’s best comfort food, you’re not going to get filet mignon with some fancy-shmancy French sauce, but what you do get is going to be good and it’ll sustain you for a long, long time. They never get old and I can listen to this album from beginning to end without once reaching for the skip-ahead button.

4. Glossary – Long Live All of Us (2011)

Standout album by one of the most kick-ass bands out there, plain and simple. Put on your aquarium platforms and sombrero with chi-chi balls all a-dangling and get down with your bad self – FlyGuy ain’t got nothing on these guys. Love, love, love this album. Not many albums actually make me want to get up and dance – I think dancing is for crazy people – but this one, well, I’d at least do some serious toe-tapping to it! These guys are deserving of much more attention than they get, and I’m hoping that changes soon.

3. Airborne Toxic Event – All at Once (2011)

Not embarrassed about this one. These guys are an amazingly talented band and I’ve been a fan for quite some time now. Their songs inspire me, move me, make me want to get up and get things done…while also reminding me of the dark side of human nature in a hopeful and optimistic way.

2. Only Living Boy – Hide Nothing (2011)

Kick ass band. If you’re a sissy, don’t listen to these guys, cause your feelings WILL get hurt. I have not stopped listening to this band since I immersed myself in them to write my review about this album. When I find myself getting too mucked up in all the melancholic bullshit you’ll find elsewhere on this list, all I have to do is listen to this album to get myself out of it. So grow a pair and take a listen to these guys.

1. The Black Hand Gang – EP (2011)

I can’t get these guys out of my head…or my heart. I didn’t want to like these guys, there’s only so much Scottish you should allow in your life, but goddamn, I cannot walk away from them. Their soaring melodies and musicianship draw me in, their sound mesmerizes me, I’m completely entranced and I don’t’ know why but I don’t really care because I just love their music, their feel, their sentiments, their everything. This Glasgow quartet embodies everything that Americana music is and has been, without being American. Beautiful.

Only Living Boy – Hiding Nothing

If you had a dirty, toothless cousin that lived in a rundown trailer at the back of the property who sat around all day spitting, gumming, and cursing with a shotgun resting across his lap, his name would be Only Living Boy. This is the band that The Black Keys are too afraid to become. Only Living Boy’s kind of high octane blues-rock is so filthy that I feel like I need to take a shower after listening to them. They are aggressively in your face, with no apologies, no “I’m just kidding, I don’t really want to kick your ass” sensitivity found all too much with the modern, hipster, feel-good, “let’s all hug it out” shit being put out today. Only Living Boy beats you continuously over the head with hard, no-nonsense, powerful guitar riffs that demand to be played loudly and frequently. They drive straight into the building, in the highest gear, without a thought about even touching the brakes.

Their most recent album, Hide Nothing, does exactly that – it hides absolutely nothing. It is a potent collection of blues-rock that grabs you by the neck from the get-go and doesn’t let you catch your breath once. It doesn’t offer a polite reach-around; it just does what it wants to do with you and when done, walks away unashamedly. The album has its ups and downs, to be sure, but I’ve found that some songs I didn’t necessarily enjoy at one moment, I’ve come back to at a different time and been completely blown away by. Ultimately, that is what enchants me about this album – I might not always be in the right mood for all the songs, but there is always a song to fit all of my moods.

Standout tracks:

Hide Nothing – a dark, moody ode to exposing your soul and loving with everything you have (if a guitar could punch you, this song’s would);

Demon Shuffle Part 1 – R.L. Burnside meets the Backsliders in a little backwoods trundle that makes you want kill someone and steal their moonshine;

My Heart is Burning – this song is all over the place, which is what I love about it, and the Soundgarden-esque heavy riffs are candy to my ears. This album is a refreshing, angst-driven masterpiece and I can’t wait to see what this band does next.

Only Living Boy’s Official Site, Only Living Boy on Facebook, Only Living Boy on Spotify, Buy Hide Nothing

THE LONESOME CITY TRAVELERS – THE LONESOME CITY TRAVELERS

Banjo-driven songs about love and hate, drinking and sinning, and hoping for the best but being ready for when it all inevitably goes to hell, is what The Lonesome City Travelers do, and they do it damn well. Their lyrics are genuine and straightforward – it isn’t so much that they embrace being sinners, they just don’t apologize for it. Their honesty is very subtle, as it’s easy to get lost in the music or the compelling harmonies, but underlying it all is a brutally candid telling about how easily life can go wrong, about how we always love the wrong woman even when we know we shouldn’t, about how enough is never enough and how we always pay for it in the end. This is a brilliant album, full of truth and sincerity, and a realistic appraisal of how we continue to go on regardless of how hopeless it all might feel.

The band is comprised of two sets of brothers and you can sense that familial closeness in their music, in their harmonies, and in the way they negotiate subject matter that most bands stay far away from. The album starts out very strong, with the opening track being everything that one could hope for in a song. The harmonizing that starts in the second refrain is truly mesmerizing, with the prickly, wandering banjo in the background completing the feel and the mood. Just as you’re about to be lilted into a blissful stupor, at 2:40 the song changes, and comes charging right back at you and finishes on an upbeat, hopeful sentiment that sets the stage perfectly for the songs that are to come.

Strong offerings include “Abigail”, a song about loving a girl you know you shouldn’t, and “Young”, an unrepentant ode to youthful indiscretion and then not giving a damn as you get older and refuse to change. This is an amazing album filled with songs about lust and anger, drugs and booze, bad women and hard times – it’s really an album about life, it doesn’t make excuses, and if you don’t like it, I really doubt it’d care.

Lonesome City Travelers – Abigail
Lonesome City Travelers – Goodbye (San Francisco Bay)
Lonesome City Travelers – Young

Lonesome City Travelers’ Official Site, Lonesome City Travelers on Facebook, Lonesome City Travelers on Spotify, Buy Lonesome City Travelers

IMELDA MAY – MAYHEM

Having been a fan of rockabilly now for many years, I’ve come to just accept the fact that not very many truly groundbreaking albums come out anymore in the genre. I guess it’s what happens when the genre has been around for 70+ years and I’m not old enough to have actually been alive when all the good stuff was going on. However, I was excited to take a listen to the new Imelda May album as I’m not overly familiar with her, but have heard some good things about what she does. While her new album doesn’t break any new ground or revolutionize the rockabilly sound, it does do what it does well – with style, grace, and a certain cabaret sashay that suits her amazing voice very well. I’m torn between being upset I haven’t listened to more of her and wishing that she’d push the envelope a little more and step out of what can easily become expected in this genre, as she obviously has the talent and the musicians to pull it off. What she has done is a make an exceptional album, full of great vintage songs with twinkling vocals that are both angry and enticing – sometimes at the same time.

There are a good number of standout tracks on this album that I’ve found myself listening to over and over again, that run the range from barnstorming, aggressive rockabilly to soulful, waltzing ballads. This is very indicative of what you’ll find on this 15 track album, as the songs run the full gambit of the genre while using imaginative instrumentation throughout. “Kentish Town Waltz” is one of the tracks that is at once very intimate and touching, as it tells an autobiographical story about May first moving to London and the struggles of trying to balance a relationship and finding success as a singer & musician. You can feel how personal the song is to May and characterizes how honest and forthcoming a performer May is, willing to lay down intimate details and struggles through her music.

“Too Sad To Cry” will not leave me alone and haunts me. It highlights the strength of May’s talent and her uncanny ability to use her voice very effectively, while also taking a small deviation from the standard rockabilly fare. Another heartfelt ballad that starts off sounding like a soulful, death dirge from down New Orleans-way…it just pulls you in, makes you feel her heartbreak, her despair, and it reminds you of when you’ve felt the same, when you’ve wanted to give up, quit, and allow the sorrow to engulf you and take you – and it just leaves you there, without any candy-coated ending or saccharin-sweet optimism hollowly telling you that I’ll all be ok.

This is a solid offering from a beautiful, expressive Irish singer at the top of her game. If you have any kind of affinity for this genre of music, then this album is a must-have, and if you’re not, then this album will still have something for you and very well may reel you in and make you a fan.

Imelda May – Kentish Town Waltz
Imelda May – Too Sad To Cry
Imelda May – Tainted Love

Imelda May’s Official Site, Imelda May on Facebook, Buy Mayhem