Imelda May | 11 Past The Hour Review
By Griff Stevens
Imelda May was born and raised in The Liberties area of Dublin and has become one of Ireland’s most famed female artists in history. Discovered by Jools Holland, who asked May to support him on tour, she has performed alongside artists including Lou Reed, Smokey Robinson, Jeff Beck, and Jack Savoretti. She has recently been featured on Hollywood legend Jeff Goldblum and music icon Ronnie Wood’s albums and live shows. She is now releasing her album, 11 Past The Hour, which is the first new music from the Irish star since her 2017 album Life Love Flesh Blood. With 11 Past The Hour, May returns to her original potent songwriting and heartfelt, stirring vocal delivery. This is May’s sixth studio album, and it brims with sensuality, emotional intelligence, spirituality, and intuition, marking a new chapter for May and showcasing her at her most authentic. The album features collaborators like Ronnie Wood, Noel Gallagher, and Miles Kane. With inspired contributions from feminist thinkers and activists such as Gina Martin and Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, the album is a refreshing blast of Rock’n’Roll with a purpose.
“11 Past The Hour” is the opening tracks with swooping orchestral backing and May singing the catchy melody. With dark and dramatic undertones, May’s distinctively sultry voice can convey the lyrics and message with elegance and emotion. May says, “I wrote “11 Past The Hour” with Pedro Vito, my beautiful soulful friend who I love writing with. This song almost danced away from us sometimes; it evolved so fast we had to reach up to catch it!” She continues, “’11 Past The Hour’ is the time for intuition and awakening and is known as a clear calling from the universe to become conscious and aware. 11.11 is a powerful invitation to synchronicity. The song is about the longing to feel unbound from worldly shackles and be “free for a while,” the need for connection, sense a higher power, and simply feeling safe and loved. This led me to the idea for the video that I wanted to broaden that concept. To awaken and be aware not just of my world and reality but of the lives around me, living on this same planet, looking to the same moon with hope, dreams, and needs. We are in this together.”
“Just One Kiss” features vocalist Ronnie Wood singing with May to yield a highlight of the album. The uncanny vibe is heightened by May’s lyrics and the feel of the song, which blur the line between rock and pop-punk. There is an intimacy with Wood and May on the track that is hard to miss. The guitar work is rendering a L.A. street grunge sound. This is a winner of a bad girl redemption song that is triumphant and a celebration of a virtuous infatuation.
11 Past the Hour is a recording that does not tiptoe around subtleties. Between ear-catching melodies and witty lyrics, May keeps us in good sound territory for the album’s length. There are flashes of dark moods, a flickering of sensuality, and full-on earworms. Add the squealing guitar solos that buzz and sparks of edgy rock beats, and 11 Past the Hour delivers.
Label: Decca (UMO)
Artist: Imelda May