Album of the Year…and it’s only July
The album is not dead after all – Tom Jones proves it with his collection of timeless songs, “Praise & Blame” which will be released on July 26. (the single “Burning Hell” was released on June 7)
A great vocalist + great musicians + a great producer oddly do not always result in a great work of art, but in this case everything fell into place and a spine chiller and soul shaker of a record has seen the light of day, one that recalls American icons Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley (and even Irish U2 and Canadian Neil Young) at their very best. It’s black blues, it’s white country, it’s gospel and it’s roots music – not separate, but equal, each musical thread part of a fabric so strong it will never tear.
Tom Jones, the Welsh son of a coal miner was born to sing this material. The recordings that made him famous and his version of Prince “Kiss” are not too shabby either, but he is now 70 and he sounds like a man who has wrestled with demons for decades and hasn’t won yet. Married for fifty years to Linda and as famous for his womanizing as for his music, he is no angel, but then, I doubt an angel could sing a song like John Lee Hooker’s “Burning Hell” the way Tom Jones sings it on “Praise & Shame”.
[From my music blog The Nightfly @ www.latenightdj.blogspot.com]