Praise & Blame
Press Quotes No. America
“On Praise & Blame, that gutsy Northern soul voice sounds righteous and true”.
“This is soul music at its best. Tom Jones has changed from a set of vocal chords ready to please a crowd of old ladies to a serious recording artist.”
No Depression, The Roots Music Authority
“Take those hats off and launch them in the air for one of the most uplifting, career-topping albums anyone could have released, regardless of age”.
Jason Draper, Yahoo Music, 9/10
“The performances are delivered from the gut and don’t disappear from the jukebox of the brain very soon. The same people who set the bar decades ago for so many of today’s acts to measure up to are still making a lot of today’s best music. Praise & Blame raises that bar just a little higher”.
American Songwriter, 4*
“A faultless batch of songs [that] brings out the best in this veteran singer’s artistry. Johns lays down a resonant sonic foundation that is an ideal framework for Jones’ newfound gravitas”.
Randy Lewis, Los Angeles Times, 4*/4
“His vocals are heartfelt and haunting…one hundred million albums later in a career that’s spanning nearly half a century and the best is still yet to come. Mesmerizing”.
“Leaves no doubt about how good Jones is”.
People Magazine, Critics Choice, 3.5/4
“Jones’ instrument has fire and brimstone—enough to make this elder statesman sound more virile and alive at 70 than ever”.
Jim Farber, New York Daily News, 4/5*
“He’s managed to make himself something highly unusual for a man at this stage of his career: unclassifiable. Unpredictable. Tom Jones is no joke”.
Ken Tucker, NPR Music
“A batch of gospel, blues and rockabilly songs so raw and pure that every impassioned note and every percussive beat hits the heart. This is tom Jones’ creative edict”.
Mario Tarradell, The Dallas Morning News, Grade A
“With Praise & Blame, he’s reached deep and tapped into the real stuff. Impeccably sympathetic, haunting and rawboned…amid its grim-yet-joyous ecstasy, Jones gives no hint that his reinvention is anything less than a legitimate bid for salvation—artistic, personal, and even eternal”.
Jason Albert, The A.V. Club, Grade B+
“One of the most surprising albums of 2010…his astonishing interpretive talents have never been more believable”.
Dave Burger, The Salt Lake Tribune, Grade B+
“The instrumentation, the vocal work, and song selection are absolutely perfect”. Praise & Blame may be Jones’ crowning achievement”.
Surviving the Golden Age, 8.5/10
“The singer revels in gutbucket and gospel, delivering 12 emotionally charged sermon-songs with raw-throated abandon”.
Entertainment Weekly, Grade B+
“One of the most intriguing albums Jones has made”.
“The song choices are impeccable, all propelled by Jones’s remarkable voice, still a marvel of quaveriness and bluster and sinew after all these years”.
The Washington Post
“ The dude is aging with elegance and grace. Praise & Blame is a raw, raucous, gospel-drenched, soul-infused marvel”.
Brian Baker, Scenic Alternative Newsweekly
“Praise & Blame” is sung by a Welsh hero still in full possession of a big voice. It’s sparse and hot and powerful…you can almost see a Southern heat coming off it. His voice works these songs expertly. Seriously”.
Ryan White, The Oregonian
“Praise & Blame doen’t come from left field so much as it soars in from an entirely different ballpark. It’s a field of dark, disturbing dreams, where the 70-year old Jones shuns a 45-year pop career for a spiritual journey”.
Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Constantly emotive and impeccably crafty”.
Austin Music Source, Grade B+
“A soul-stirring collection of rootsy spirituals belted out by a pop legend with readjusted priorities”.
John Soeder, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, Grade A
“It’s actually kind of flawless”.
Ed Masley, Arizona Republic, 4*/5
“Is it possible that Tom Jones, at age 70, is only now using everything he’s got to his best advantage? Praise & Blame puts the focus squarely on the voice, which not only retains all its dynamic range and muscle but exhibits, in its maturity, a refined sense of nuance and grace”.
Jeff Tamarkin, The Boston Phoenix, 4*
“You gotta love Tom Jones. And gotta hear his new album. Throughout, Jones sounds amazingly in his element…whether whooping it up or repenting his sins, he sounds like a man who has found his calling – again. Hallelujah!”
T’cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazzette, 4*/5
“What the hell is that recording doing being so damned awesome? This is a beautiful record. It is unsettling, touching, and inspiring. Listen to the full 40-minutes straight through—you’ll not be disappointed. In point of fact, it really doesn’t matter who made this record—just that it was made”.
Arkie Bermiss, The Perpetual Post
“Both subtle and powerful”.
Jim Sullivan, Boston Herald, Grade B+
“The fine, estimable Praise & Blame…is the sound of an artist making music without having to worry about cementing his legacy or answering to a fickle generation tied to his music, which is why Jones’ music is as important as any new quaking band’s. [It’s] a gift to the ears partly because…it reminds us that it’s not only music made by young people that pulls us together”.
Dave Bidini, National Post (Canada)
“A stirring album of real heart and soul, and full of the kind of music Jones was made to make. It’s by far the finest album of his career and one that finally does his superb voice true justice”.
Alan Channer, Christian Today, 5*/5
“Wow…damn good work”.
Jeff Spevak, Democrat and Chronicle.com
“Definitely one to put on your must-buy list, a really good combination of artistry and spirituality which opens up a whole other side to Jones”.
Carol Anne Szel, Goldmine Magazine ‘Pick’, 4*/4
“What Praise & Blame really reminds me of is a dark, smoky little bar where the Saturday night band that plays the deepest, most soulful, down-home blues late into the early morning turns into the church band and choir after a little coffee and a shave. Come Sunday, there’s not a 7th or 9th note in earshot but the power of the Gospel makes the church windows bow in and out in time to the music. A surprising and strangely satisfying musical outing by a master vocalist still very much in command of his instrument and talent”.
Jeff Markunas, CWG Magazine, 3.5*/4
“Praise & Blame is worlds away from any music he’s recorded over the years. He’s hitting a stride and sounding rather dignified, and that’s something to hear”.
Jewly Hight, Relix
“With spare arrangements that highlight his still-astonishing pipes and clear love of the material, it sounds like Tom Jones has come home”.
Peter Chianca, Wicked Local, Boston
“It’s stunning…in every case his voice is framed by unpredictable arrangements. Jones rocks, but with a refined sensibility, a delicacy that creates mesmerizing sound portraits. A soulful, reflective record in which Jones roars and whispers and exhibits surprisingly good taste. [This is] a lean, muscular, explosive recording that I can’t stop listening to. And so the only thing to do is listen to it again. And again”.
Robert Trusell, The Kansas City Star
“The 70-year old delivers a praiseworthy effort”.
People Magazine, Recent Raves, 3.5/4
Kansas City Freepress
“Praise & Blame is steeped in the sound of juke joints, heaven and hell, the devil and death….and much of the time, Great God Almighty, he pulls it off! A triumph of re-invention”.
Entertainment News Video
“So imagine my surprise when I was overtaken by the compulsion to play his new record a dozen times the first week I heard it. Praise & Blame is a dark, charging record, defiant and menacing. His voice is hoarse, forceful and convicted. Simply stated, the record is a tremendous accomplishment, channelling the ravages of aging into an artistic statement…a statement representative of rock music itself—a medium capable of producing the rare but devastatingly profound statement”.
Dave Tomar, The Perpetual Post