ABBE MAY Fruit gets 8/10

Abbe May
Luxury Cat


If judging an album by its cover you might say Fruit is badass, sexy, unapologetic and real. In which case, you’d be right. Fruit is also unexpectedly oh so funky. Abbe May’s fifth studio album is inspired by soul and R&B music, experimenting with layers; an arrangement of instruments and sounds. In between songs, Abbe speaks openly about feelings, thoughts and memories regarding love, life and sexuality. Fruit (Pt. 3) made me audibly “Awww.”

Opening track Love Decline is sure to get you working up a sweat, wherever you may be. Abbe throws her voice around with a strength and depth she probably owes to the odd whiskey and cigarette.

Bitchcraft gives off a feeling of vague nostalgia, a slight longing for a time you never experienced. For instance, if I were old enough to go out dancing in the millennium, I reckon tunes similar to Bitchcraft would have been playing at an open air club somewhere warm that serves cocktails with little umbrellas (just to set the scene). It has quite a lounge music feel to it, a sound that carries through many of the songs on the album.

Doomsday Clock is a reminder to be good to your mother, our Earth. While it’s a darker song, the funk never leaves the building. Seventeen has more of a jazz essence than the rest of the album, lending an emotive tone to a song that gives insight to her rebellious and confused younger years. Abbe’s lungs are really on display during the chorus when she wails “I love you, I love you…”, such a simple yet powerful sentiment, especially with the rawness she uses to deliver the lyrics.

Tinderella brings us back into the now using the concept of instant hook ups as inspiration yet with a Prince-tinged boldness. Speaking of Prince, Are We Flirting conjures the late purple one with more seductive sounds and warbling, space-age guitar. Play on words such as “Am I pussy or am I the mice?” show May isn’t afraid to press buttons.

One of the recurring themes on Fruit is love. Make Love Not Sense has a noughties vibe in that it is very poppy with sweet and simple lyrics that tell the listener to love freely regardless of others judgments. And damn this girl has soul! I’m Over You is evidence of that. There’s even a bit of Sharon Jones in her voice. Then Shake Your Thing is straight up R&B. The track oozes sexuality with emphasis on the bassline.

Some of the songs will inevitably take a couple of listens to appreciate. No. 1 Killa‘s R&B trope had me thinking, “She’s a white girl from Perth though…?” Nevertheless, I was soon swept back on board the soul train.

Freedom, the last track of the album, is perhaps the most interesting – it fuses several of the songs in the album, layering sounds like a beautiful Abbe-filled choir in a fitting finale.