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Praise & Blame

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Audio CD, July 27, 2010
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Product Description

2010 album from the legendary Pop/Rock vocalist. This is Tom Jones going back to his roots on an album of Gospel, Blues, traditional and Country songs, wearing his heart on his sleeve, emotionally raw and true. Recording with producer Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ray LaMontagne, Paolo Nutini, Laura Marling) at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in the little village of Box in Wiltshire, coaxed the most exhilarating performances out of the singer. With musicians including steel guitarist BJ Cole, keyboardist Booker T Jones (of Memphis soul legends Booker T and the MGs), Hammond organist Chris Holland and background vocalists Gillian Welch, Alison Pierce, Dave Rawlings and Orin Waters at hand, Tom has quite simply delivered his tour de force. It's him bearing his soul, singing from the heart, telling it like it is.

From the Artist

"I'm immensely proud of what we've achieved here," he continues, "It's such a natural, honest record. And it's a record that makes you think."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 27, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
  • ASIN: B003R4Z7EU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,195 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Pixie on July 28, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Praise & Blames is a potent mix of retro blues and country and religion that rocks. The spare production enhances the tracks, Jones sounds fantastic and prepare to sit back and smile as you listen. Put aside any reservations based on his career as a 60's/70's lounge singer - Jones is a legend for a reason and infuses the up-tempo songs with a bit of spit and snarl lending it all the cred it needs. Slower songs are heartfelt and would make even a heathen think about his everlasting salvation. Stand out tracks are plentiful, but try 'Burning Hell' and 'Don't Knock.' If Tom Jones was a religion, I'd sign up. This record should be the next 'Raising Sand.'
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gengler VINE VOICE on July 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tom Jones.

If you grew up in the 60's, the name immediately conjures up images of the swiveling-hipped What's New Pussycat? guy who also sang Thunderball. Over the course of decades, Tom Jones, surrounded by a sea of panties, morphed into the ultimate lounge singer. His deep Welsh voice remaining a powerful instrument well into his 60s, he maintained his street cred with an edgy version of Kiss, and lots of hair dye.

What's a performer to do as he enters his 7th decade of life? Jones has made a crafty, calculated choice. He has made a gospel record with bare bones modern production.

I don't quite agree with the previous reviewers who suggest that this is a "Bob Dylan Gospel" disc, although I understand what they mean. Jones does kick thing off with a scorched version of Dylan's "What Good Am I", but a truer analogy is the late, great Johnny Cash's work with Rick Rubin. For on this disc, Jones voice cuts to the bone with a degree of urgency and authenticity that you would have assumed he had lost following decades of singing It's Not Unusual. I assure you - nothing could be further from the truth. On this disc, Tom Jones sings as if his life depends on it. And yours.

I always felt that Cash's final recordings cast him as an Old Testament prophet. Jones doesn't have quite Cash's biblical authority, but the music on this disc (and the severely gaunt image of Jones current appearance that is being used to market the disc) casts illusions to Jones as Tiresias, the blind, ancient Greek prophet through whom the Gods spoke their disapproval. These are harsh times. And this is harsh music. It rings of truth, beauty, and soulfulness.

And it may just be the finest album of Jones career. Scratch that. It simply is.

And that's saying quite a lot.
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67 of 81 people found the following review helpful By pop culture icon on July 27, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
"Praise and Blame" is Tom Jones's first gospel album. It is not a gospel album in the usual sense; it is more in the sense of a Buddy Miller or Bob Dylan gospel album (and the most apt comparison for this CD might well be Buddy Miller's "Universal United House of Prayer"). Speaking of Dylan, this set opens with a gorgeous rendition of Dylan's "What Good Am I?" Jones's take on this song rivals another wonderful version several years back by Solomon Burke. In addition to "What Good Am I?" we get a marvelous cover of Billy Joe Shaver's "If I Give My Soul" (taken at a slower tempo than the original Shaver version), Susan Werner's "Did Trouble Me" (a modern masterpiece), John Lee Hooker's "Burning Hell," and The Staple Singers' "Don't Knock." Adding to these more modern songs Jones also goes back to Rosetta Tharpe and Mahalia Jackson. The arrangements are appropriately and often hauntingly spare. It is amazing and pleasing to note how Jones's enormous musical gifts are still very much intact at 70 and after nearly a half-century of performing. "Praise and Blame" is among the four best albums of Jones's career. Any Tom Jones fan will have to have this CD in his collection. Fans of gosepl music and blues music should delight in it as well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Buddy on July 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're a Tom Jones fan, this album is a must. If you are not a Tom Jones fan, this album will make you one.

In the U.S., Tom has been the most underrated singer for more than 40 years. Being known for the underwear thrown at him on stage more than his voice has done him a great disservice. And because so many have automatically dismissed him as someone not to be taken seriously, they have never given themselves a chance to appreciate his great, and I mean GREAT talent.

I often hear people refer to him as a "lounge" singer. This label couldn't be more wrong. He is not, and may I repeat, NOT a lounge singer. He is an artist who sings from the soul like no one else. This is a man who can sing any type music...pop, rock, soul, country, big ballad, jazz, gospel, R&B, rock & roll, dance, hip-hop, rap, love songs, big band, blues, and if he had wanted, even opera. What's most amazing, is that he can do each type of music to perfection. If you hear him sing rock & roll, you would think that's his specialty. But, that's how it is for every type music, as they are all his specialty. I don't know anyone else who can do that. There is a reason why he is known in the U.K. as "the voice". And what a voice!

This new album will reach your soul with it's powerful and spiritual songs, thought provoking words and gut wrenching vocals. My personal favorite on the album is "Did Trouble Me". It's beautiful and moving, but the whole album is a winner. I find myself having to play it over and over. It's hard to believe this man is 70 years old. That alone is an inspiration to us all when you hear this great work.

May Tom have at least 70 more years to keep making great albums!
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Burning Hell
Wish I could find any kind of sample from this album.
Jul 18, 2010 by J. Midgette |  See all 5 posts
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