Tom Jones: Spirit in the Room
A sparse, amazing rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Tower Of Song” opens Tom Jones’ latest album, Spirit in the Room. “Hit or Miss” sees things get nice, jumpy and loose. The song is complete with handclaps, as the Welsh crooner once again mines some interesting covers, just as he did on his last album, Praise & Blame with the same producer, Ethan Johns, on board.
Paul Simon’s “Love and Blessings” picks up with a good slap-back echo, again seeing Jones taking full-steam-ahead control with his amazing, masculine voice and some great drumming behind him. There’s a great low- down version of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Soul of a Man.” Complete with some jangly electric, nice subliminal keys and Jones on that four-on-the floor beat, this is about as good as it’s ever going to get anywhere; see if you can listen and not rub yourself to the edge of your chair.
Things are pretty much Wait-ian, not ironically, on Jones’ loud take on Tom Waits’ “Bad As Me” and, though fun, I’m not sure this works as well as the others here. Still, it’s a competent read. “Dimming of the Day” is, again, sparse, acoustic guitar, drums and soft vocal; a great sweet, soft ballad. Piano leads the cover of Joe Henry’s “All Blues Hail Mary.” There are lots of spaces on this one especially, seeing Jones really occupying the spaces perfectly.
Spirit in the Room is freaking great, you owe it to yourself to get to know Tom Jones right now!