NME REVIEW - Leonie Cooper 7/10 Tom Jones is still commendably committed to re-imagining himself as Rick Rubin-years Johnny Cash, by way of interestingly oddball selections of Americana and bespoke blues covers. Backed by a graceful but gritty band - which includes Warpaint's Stella Mozgawa on drums - a touch of the crotch-thrusting Las Vegas dazzler still flinches in the pleasingly demented showmanship on Jones' voodoo version of Tom Waits' 'Bad As Me'. The softer moments also shine, with a tender painting of Leonard Cohen's 'Tower Of Song' and a transcendent, baroque take on The Low Anthem's 'Charlie Darwin'. Cashback? Pretty close.
TIME OUT - Oliver Keens 4**** Explaining Tom Jones to kids watching 'The Voice' must be hellish. 'What does the man who sang "Sexbomb" know about music?' they might ask. This record provides an answer. Following 2010's excellent 'Praise and Blame', the former panty-magnet reconvenes with producer Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon) to wrap his thunderous vocals around ten blues, rock and gospel covers. The results are spellbinding. Not only are these earthy oddities by Paul McCartney, Richard Thompson and Blind Willie Johnson exactly what a man of his vintage should be tackling, he reimagines them with a fiery and adventurous zeal.
Odetta's sweetly funky 'Hit Or Miss' is reborn as a defiant gospel stomp, while 'Soul Of A Man' is given a PJ Harvey circa '95 vibe. He's even brave enough to cover Tom Waits, making a lusty stab at 2011's 'Bad As Me'. It's also a relief to hear Jones - a sex symbol for so long - finally sing 'My friends are gone/My hair is grey' from Leonard Cohen's 'Tower Of Song'.
Who is Tom Jones? He's a former hunk with an incredible voice who's finally starting to wear his age well.
WOMEN'S OWN - 5***** The Welsh wonder is enjoying a career comeback on The Voice, and his new album shows off his own unmistakeable talent. Tom's voice really shines on the eclectic range of cove versions of artists such as Paul McCartney and Leonard Cohen, and his version of Tom Waits' Bad As Me is a particular highlight. After nearly 50 years in the business, Tom still has a fresh sound.