Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Praise & Blame
This is a wonderful album right through, mixing styles from blues and gospel. It is a significant step away from the recent output of pop songs and radio-friendly collaborations; Praise & Blame captures Tom in full-blown singer mode, rather than entertainer. Indeed, his voice sounds magnificent throughout the album.

The comparisons to Johnny Cash are...
Published on 25 July 2010 by B. Wright

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Different but enjoyable.
Now I am not a big Tom Jones fan but my wife wanted this album so I got it for her. (being a good husband!)
However, I was pleasantly surprised. This album is not Tom's usual work and has a different sound.
Overall I enjoyed the tracks and found them pretty good listening, the praise/gospel tracks worked pretty well I reckon.
If you really dislike Tom then...
Published on 2 Jan. 2011 by A. Davis


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Praise & Blame, 25 July 2010
By 
B. Wright (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful album right through, mixing styles from blues and gospel. It is a significant step away from the recent output of pop songs and radio-friendly collaborations; Praise & Blame captures Tom in full-blown singer mode, rather than entertainer. Indeed, his voice sounds magnificent throughout the album.

The comparisons to Johnny Cash are understandable as there are hints of the American Recordings in the choice of song and also vocal performances; there is a timbre and gravitas to Tom's voice that, while not quite as good as Cash in his later years, really shows his voice off in a way that perhaps his more recent albums don't. This album too is at times introspective like the American Recordings, particularly on the opening track, a cover of Dylan's 'What Good Am I?' or 'Did Trouble Me' where Jones explores questions of mortality. However, I would suggest that the style is more similar to 'Raising Sand' by Alison Krauss & Robert Plant. Blues and country mixes well with the occasional gospel songs on the album, and the tracks move swiftly and comfortably from plaintive ballads to scintillating blues numbers. There is not a weak song on the album and producer, Ethan Jones, is incredibly understanding with the arrangements, more often than not going with 'less is more'.

Tom Jones sounds like he is having a lot of fun on this album and it makes for an incredibly enjoyable listening experience. I hope that this is an indication of his future direction as he enters his 8th decade. Praise & Blame is highly recommended and while the songs are all covers, Tom makes them very much his own.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a superb surprise, 27 April 2011
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
Heard Tom Jones sing one of the tracks on Jools and thought, wow, this is a bit different. Bluesy and gospel mix. It's stripped back, raw and heartfelt - Tom Jones doing songs that he wants to do. Production is great. Ethan Jones getting the balance just right and letting the voice come through. In fact EJ playing guitar on most of the album. Tom Jones is to be applauded for putting this album out and lets hope it's the first of many. There have been the odd tracks over the years I have liked but never been compelled to buy. Now things have changed. More please, more !!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subliminal, 17 Oct. 2010
By 
P. Armstrong (Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
At first I didn't enjoy every song, but after a week of listening I love them all. I wasn't previously a gospel fan, and only a luke warm Tom Jones fan, but this is so different from everything else that you don't need prior experience of either. I'm recommending it to everyone I see. Its cheap as chips to buy, give it a go, you'll love it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gospel train is about to leave from Cardiff Central, 21 Dec. 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
Sir Thomas John Woodward OBE, son of Pontypridd, aka Tom Jones, twinkle-eyed naughty knight of the realm, gets down and dirty with the Lord on this staggering album of gospel and blues, with a hectic dash of rock`n`roll thrown in.
Starting with a twenty-year-old Bob Dylan song, progressing through magnificently hollered overwrought belters such as Strange Things and Burning Hell, the rockin` hell-for-leather Don`t Knock, the much-covered (by everyone from Led Zep to Sandie Shaw) Nobody`s Fault But Mine, and a final trio of knockout gospellers Didn`t It Rain, Ain`t No Grave and Run On, this is a grainier Jones voice than we`re used to, and all the better and more effective for that.
It`s obviously an album he`s been waiting to make all his life.
One thing that strikes you immediately is the sound. Ethan (son of Glyn) Johns, apart from playing superb guitar throughout, has produced Tom with just the right in-your-face immediacy, giving these eleven songs exactly the rough-cut chutzpah they needed.
The magisterial Jones tonsils are those of a man of 70, but the power, far from being lessened, is now more concentrated, contained, and thereby much more moving than the rather stentorian Jones of yore. No Delilahs here - though plenty of Old Testament righteousness, mentions of Jesus, and apocalyptic menace. Delilah herself would`ve felt right at home. And Johnny Cash would`ve loved it!
I hovered between four & five stars, but the very fact that I find myself playing this short yet mighty album surprisingly often tells me to err on the side of generosity.
I bet Tom is proud of this. He should be.
Tremendous.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pleasant surprise; soulful and raw, 7 July 2011
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
What a revelation: this ageing pop tenor, heartrendingly seeking forgiveness, compassion, a way out of here, in an album of very sparse, tightly constructed "old" (mostly American) songs. His tremulous virtuosity lends itself marvellously to these tunes, which feel like blues/bluegrass/gospel even when they're not. Tom Jones' time making country records wasn't wasted.

"Praise and Blame" seems to have been intuitively made by a man without an awful lot to prove - except to his family; to his God (the things that matter more, now). If I've had the wool pulled over my eyes; if this is a cynical attempt to "Cash" (sorry) in on the vogue for ageing singers producing stripped-back roots albums, then good - I'm happy to be hoodwinked.

I don't love every single track on the album. Some uptempo tracks sound like Hootenanny singalongs; but I play quiet, raw, low-fi tracks like "Did Trouble Me" and "If I Give My Soul" over and over; they're extraordinary.

Funny that the BBC review on the front page of this site suggests the album's a failure; that Jones' "charm was never based on his authenticity", and drawing those inevitable Johnny Cash comparisons. I'm not sure I agree: a miner's son, singing his way out of the workingmen's clubs, living out a gaudy Vegas life, having a comeback, and then another, and still out there busking away, decades later? I think that's as authentic as it gets.

I know the old world he sings about and from; the religious world; where your elders placed spiritual burdens on you. I never threw a pair of knickers, don't care about his "Las Vegas" years, about the hips. I hope I can project an ounce of that yearning and desperation, that soul, into my voice when I'm his age.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise and Blame, Tom Jones - The Boyo done good!,, 26 July 2010
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
A few years ago I'd pretty much written Tom Jones off. Then he went back to basics with his excellent collaboration with Jools Holland(Tom Jones & Jools Holland), and recorded the mature but excellent 24 Hours, an album that regularly finds itself in my CD player. In this next offering Tom has once again mined the rich seam of reflection that made 24 Hours such a success, and a simply stunning album has resulted.

Given the selection of songs, pre-release comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Johnny Cash's last albums, however in tone and production I think it is closer to Bob Dylan's collaborations with Daniel Lanois - especially given the choice of Dylan's `What Good Am I' for the first track. This track, with its driving beat and reflective lyric sets the tone for the whole album.

Jones uses his previously largely unused lower registers to good effect, to growl his way through a series of blues and gospel numbers. The track selection is excellent, allowing Jones to show us a long life lived to the full, with all its highs and lows. But it's not a life that is winding down, there is a promise and hope of more to come. Jones may be in a reflective mood, confessing his weaknesses and baring his soul, but he still has a twinkle in his eye, and there is life in the old devil yet.

This might be an album in which Jones comes to terms with his age, but it's no pipe and slippers by the fireside effort. The raw power of his voice is still much in evidence, as is his artistry. This is no vain hanging on to old glories, such as Rod Stewart's recent output, or Sinatra's end of career material. Jones still has something to say, and is finding fresh and new ways that are genuinely exciting to hear in which to say it. Each successive recent release has been startlingly different form the last, and invariably great music. One wonders where his journey will take him next? I for one cannot wait to find out.

An all round excellent album, full of great soulful music made with great feeling that is ultimately uplifting. Highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, 19 July 2010
By 
Ms. J. L. Slade (Wales) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
I've just come back from Latitude Festival where Tom Jones sang the songs from this album backed by the band on the album. Let me tell you, his voice is incredible, moving, resonating, powerful, soulful and beautiful. I'm pre-booking the album and I'm really looking forward to getting it. Can I just qualify this by saying I'm not a knicker throwing Tom Jones fan and I don't have his back catalogue. Highly recommended, five stars doesn't do it justice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the boy's still got it!, 26 Dec. 2011
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
Ignore the sniffy BBC reviewer. These so called 'music critics' just can't stand it when an artist has the temerity to cross over into a different genre. I'll bet this one skipped through the tracks, because he'd already made up his mind. If you're serious about music and appreciate a great voice, get this album. I listened to this after watching the documentary 'What good am I?' Yes, Tom Jones is best known for his pop music and hip swinging, but, as the documentary revealed, he started out singing and loving rhythm and blues before being 'discovered' and has the sensibility of a rock n roll/gospel singer. One of his musical heroes was Jerry Lee Lewis! So he's not American? So what? So this material is reminiscent of Johnny Cash? Big deal! It doesn't mean it isn't authentic or heart felt. I think it has a lot of soul and Tom's vocals are rich and still amazing as ever. I hope he continues to tap this vein of music that obviously means a lot to him and is in my view, the right kind of material for this elder statesmen to be exploring at this stage in his life and career. No doubt music critics would be jeering at him, if he hadn't had the courage to do something different and move on from his hip swivelling image of the 60s!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tom Jones - CD Praise & Blame, 20 Oct. 2010
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
Absolutely LOVE this new cd by Tom Jones - I was never much of a fan of his early music, but his vocal talent is unquestionable. His distinctive and amazing voice is stretched in a new direction and is very well suited to this style of music. The musicianship throughout the cd is also fabulous. Some "catchy" gospel melodies and lyrics that seem to stick in the memory long after the cd has been played. A great production and I'd like Tom to do a lot more of this. I can't stop playing the cd - and I can't "praise" it enough! Delighted.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tom Jones - Has the "voice" achieved his Johnny Cash moment?, 22 July 2010
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Praise & Blame (Audio CD)
If Wales was an independent constitutional monarchy it would have a King called Tom and a Queen called Shirley. Indeed Tom Jones is so "big" in this part of the world that the news of one of his record company executives describing his new record "Praise and Blame" as a sick joke was greeted with outrage and was the lead story on the local news. Was this an attention grabbing PR stunt or is this record so "left-field and radical" that it will alienate the Pontypridd singer's thousands of loyal fans? The answer is certainly not the latter since "Praise and Blame" is a great record and sets out a pointer that should provide Tom Jones with a direction of travel for many years to come.

As Tom Jones gets older it is illustrative to note how he is approaching his seventh decade as a "singer" not an "entertainer". The distinction is crucial since it may be that this direction may confuse some fans who like the image of the great man all "Las Vegas" style (although I very much doubt it). But the thing about Tom Jones is that he is a very shrewd musician who knows that time dictates context and while he could keep rolling out those greatest hits he is at that point in life when its time to be more reflective but also go out fighting. His choice of songs on "Praise and blame" range from all out blues rock outs to contemplative Southern gospel. All these songs are delivered by that VOICE that sounds as good today as it did when he tread the boards of South Wales "workingmen's" clubs in his twenties. Indeed on "Praise and Blame" it is the quieter more reflective pieces that really impress. The opener is a cover of Dylan's self-questioning meditation "What good am I" which sets the tone, where over a pounding backdrop Jones delivers a beautifully restrained vocal which is impeccable in its clarity. It's a great start and followed a roaring version of Jesse Mae Hemphill's old spiritual "Lord help the poor and needy". Next up "Don't trouble me" along with the albums true highlight "If I give you my soul" again showcases what a great singer he is. The latter is best vocal for many years packed with emotion and that wonderful timbre in his voice which is his trademark. It is the most powerful song on the album which you should seek out. Indeed it resonates in a much more intense way than some of the more straightforward blues workouts on here like "Strange things" which is a bit workman like if truth be told.

Other highlights come fast and thick. The version of John Lee Hooker's "Burning Hell" has almost Jimmy Page style guitar riffery over it and you know from this blues workout that Jones is thoroughly enjoying every moment. In contrast he takes Blind Willie Johnson's blues song "Nobody's fault but mine" which was covered with intense power by Led Zeppelin particularly an immense John Bonham drum backdrop and slows it right down stripping it back to its Southern roots and making it his own. "Didn't it Rain" is so joyous it will have them clapping in the aisles and proclaiming hallelujah in the non conformist chapels throughout the valleys while "Ain't no grave" slows down the pace again and is a stellar performance. I'm not certain about "Don't knock" which seems a bit formula blues, although "Run on" is a nice upbeat ending to the album and the sort of slow blues that Elvis majored on.

This album is certainly a departure for Tom Jones but in once sense it is a more logical outcome that the earlier "Reload" which did have its moments of pure cheese. You sense that Tom Jones, to use a mining analogy, may have tapped into a rich vein here and that "Praise and Blame" which is brilliantly produced by Ethan Johns could be the start of series of such albums. While I don't think he quite hits the sheer emotional and painful intensity that Johnny Cash located on his American recordings, particularly on songs like "Hurt" and "One", this "new" direction for Tom Jones is massively welcome and this is very fine music that is beautifully performed. By any standards "Praise and blame" will be (as they say in these parts) a "tidy" purchase for people who like good music and it is by the length of the A470 Tom Jones best record for at least two decades and one of the finest of a great career.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Praise & Blame
Praise & Blame by Tom Jones (Audio CD - 2010)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews