Tom Jones is back in the spotlight with the release of his latest album, which includes a track to his wife Linda. HE may have enjoyed a long and successful career thanks to his incredible voice, but Tom Jones is not renowned for singing about issues close to his heart. Until now. On Monday, the 68-year-old superstar will release his latest album – 24 Hours – and the songs will offer a real glimpse at his innermost thoughts. And while Linda, his wife of more than 50 years, may prefer to stay in the shadows, Jones acknowledges his love for her in the track The Road. “It’s all very well just singing songs, but for this record I really wanted to get properly personal,” says Pontypridd-born Jones.
“I’ve been getting reflective recently, looking over my journey through life, and I wanted to get that down on song.
“This time I wanted to make something that was all about me, my stories, my life. In other words, you listen to this album and you get the real me.”
24 Hours was recorded in Los Angeles throughout last year, and was produced in the main by Future Cut, the drum ‘n’ bass outfit who have previously worked with Lily Allen, Dizzee Rascal, Estelle and Kate Nash.
Jones says of the album: “I’m just opening up shop again. Let’s see who comes in through the door.”
1 I’m Alive
We didn’t really need any proof that Jones is still alive and kicking and keen to take on musicians young enough to be his grandsons, but as he screams the album’s opening two words “I’m alive...” in that distinctive Jones voice, it’s certainly proof that he’s back. This energy-packed cover of the Tommy James and the Shondells classic, I’m Alive, is the perfect album opener and will have you jigging along.
2 If He Should Ever Leave You
The pace slows a little for this soul-tinged number on which Jones sings how a man would be such a fool to leave his loved one. This is the first single taken from the album. A catchy tune with great background harmonies.
3 We Got Love
With a similar beat – and another little ode to love – this track easily flows on from the last one.
4 Feels Like Music
The heat – and the beat – is turned up as Jones gets back to the kind of rock numbers we love him for: catchy chorus, drum beats and plenty of high notes – and a few groans.
5 Give A Little Love
This is a great little pop number which will have you dancing around the living room. The female backing singers are a nice addition.
6 The Road
The track we have all been waiting for in which he pays tribute to his dedicated wife Linda. The impassioned ballad is about a man’s true love. And with his voice cracking as he sings, “The road always returns to you, my love it still belongs to you” you can feel his emotion behind it.
7 In Style And Rhythm
You can imagine sitting in a cool LA bar sipping cocktails as this track plays. There’s some great piano and sax playing on this laid back number, which lives up to its title due to its cool Latin beats.
8 Sugar Daddy
While the last track is one of my favourites, I’m not a fan of this number. In fact, Jones sounds rather sleazy as he sings: “Daddy always gives you what is good for you.” No thanks.
This is more like it. Another ballad in which Jones confronts his past with an unflinching eye. “There’s a reason for passing time,” he sings. “These are the seasons of my life.” More stripped down musically so that it really showcases his voice.
This could be another ode to Linda as he sings: “You’ve been with me through it all. Never, never, never, never, gonna give you up running through my blood.”
11 The Hitter
This is Jones’ version of Bruce Springsteen’s The Hitter, the sad tale of a boxer on his way out. He really portrays the whole drama of the piece through his remarkable voice.
12 Seen That Face
Another ballad, with some great little musical interludes between Jones’ vocals.
13 24 Hours
The title track is another slow number but with a great drum beat running throughout. It’s about a man reflecting back on his life – the perfect choice to close this album.
24 Hours is released on Monday Karen Price listens to 24 Hours track by track Wales Online