J is for Tom Jones

One of those guys I’m friends with on Facebook, after wishing for something impractical, wrote: “Well, here is a better, and more tasteful desire: I want to see Tom Jones make a bare-bones acoustic guitar album, a la Johnny Cash.”

It’s pretty clear to me and most people that those American Recordings of Cash in the 1990s and early 2000s represent some of the finest music in his career. As it turns out, Welsh singer Sir Thomas John Woodward, OBE, has already followed suit.

Praise & Blame came out 26 July 2010. “The album was Jones’ first release with Island Records and was recorded in 2009… [It] was made up of largely little known devotional and gospel covers, marking a departure from the pop-orientated style that had dominated Jones’ recent recordings…

“Upon its release, Praise & Blame received generally positive reviews from most critics. Giving the album four stars, Andrew Perry in The Daily Telegraph claimed that the album was ‘by far Jones’ best album in two decades’ and stated that “with its loose, spontaneous sound, and the all-pervasive sense of artistic rebirth… it’s a revelation.'”

Spirit in the Room (2012): “Tom Jones is still commendably committed to re-imagining himself as a Rick Rubin-years Johnny Cash, by way of interestingly oddball selections of Americana and bespoke blues covers.”

Long Lost Suitcase (2016): “Andre Paine, reviewing for the Evening Standard also gave it four stars, stating ‘At 75, Jones’s volcanic vocal still sounds majestic on an album that maintains the artistic rejuvenation of recent years.'”

I have the first two albums of the trilogy of albums produced by Ethan Johns, and I like them a lot. They’re a far cry from What’s New Pussycat and It’s Not Unusual.

Listen to:

What Good Am I here or here

Burning Hell here or here

Run On here; Johnny Cash performed the same song, as “God’s Gonna Cut You Down”, on American V: A Hundred Highways (recorded in 2003, released posthumously in 2006)

Bad as Me here or here

Hit or Miss here or here

Travelin’ Shoes here

Dimming of the Day here

Charlie Darwin here or here

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