After almost two decades of making music, Imelda May comes out with 11th Hour–a collection of songs that shows amazing versatility, shifting from cabaret pop to slow hipsway to simple duet and then back through it all again, while still maintaining an overall quality of sensuous simmer.

The single is a duet with Noel Gallagher, with no less than Ron Wood playing along. It’s good, but it’s not even close to the best song in the collection. In fact, the duet with Niall McNamee–whose croon is distinctively Irish–is much more interesting and emotionally resonant.

I don’t know how singers get popular these days. Traditional radio has become unnecessary. Satellite is out of reach for many. And the internet is vast. So I’m hoping quality rises to the top. May is already huge in Ireland. Let’s hope this gets her the same kind of love across the globe.

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