Reviews \

Imelda May, ‘Mayhem’ (Decca)

With her titanic voice and breezy self-assurance, Ireland’s Imelda May is a charm-filled firecracker in human form. Fluent in all things retro, from jump blues to torch ballads to rockabilly (which has led to stage and studio dates alongside guitar deity Jeff Beck), May masterfully conjures the spirits of Peggy Lee (“Too Sad to Cry”) and Gene Vincent (“Sneaky Freak”). Occasionally, she stumbles — a peppy cover of “Tainted Love” misses the point entirely. Otherwise, it’s great fun to hear May strut her stuff.