Tom Jones: “Praise and Blame”

My review of Praise and Blame— the new, Ethan Johns-produced album by Tom Jones– is up at CT.

I never thought I’d say this about a Tom Jones record, but this one is one of the most surprising and affecting things I’ve heard all year. It’s structured like a journal of spiritual awakening– a cycle of sin and salvation, of revelations both general and personal– and while there’s a definite late-life spareness to it– in my review, I compare it to Johnny Cash’s American Recordings— it’s also robust and full of life in a way that those Cash albums weren’t, necessarily.

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