96kHz/24-bit, FLAC*; Decca 572 9629 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

Singer-songwriter Imelda May has gone much more mainstream country on her latest album. With the ever-reliable T Bone Burnett on the faders, she’s well served by the excellent recorded sound and, of course, the sheer quality of her voice, which is about as far as you can get from the auto-tuned mainstream fodder to which we’re exposed these days. However, if there’s a criticism to be made of what is still a catchy, engaging album, with much to enjoy, it’s that one can almost predict where every track is going, both musically and lyrically. So there are no surprises here, and while that makes for a comfortable listen, it’s just a bit too predictable for those looking for some forks in the road to pique their interest. Super-clean though that production may be, this album is very much cruising straight down the middle of the highway. AE

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

There’s great passion driving May’s vocals, much of it sensitively recorded on what looks like analogue tape (limited to ~28kHz). Louder sequences show brief signs of clipping, however, and track 16 is upsampled from CD [black spectrum]. PM