Praise & Blame


Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. Here, he and Johns are working with a faultless batch of songs.
  2. Praise & Blame casts away the extraneous baggage that has weighed down many of Jones's previous recordings and puts the focus squarely on the voice.
  3. Take those hats off and launch them into the air for one of the most uplifting, career-topping albums anyone could have released, regardless of age.
  4. On Praise & Blame, the singer revels in gutbucket and gospel, delivering 12 emotionally charged sermon-songs with raw-throated abandon.
  5. Praise & Blame is a stark, soul-probing study in imminent mortality.
  6. Praise & Blame winds up an undeniably excellent album that you're either ready for or you're not.
  7. If you've never even considered owning a Tom Jones record before, give Praise & Blame a try. It may well surprise you.
  8. It's grand, and at last Jones the artist is the match of Jones the entertainer.
  9. This studly Welsh baritone, now 70, certainly has the voice to make a lean, tough country gospel album.
  10. With guest artists like '60s organmeister Booker T. and Americana legends Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings, Jones and Johns have made a real statement in the same way that Rubin, and of course T Bone Burnett, do almost every time they produce an album. That statement is that 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 and Blame raises that bar just a little higher.
  11. Jones has demonstrated with a new album that it's never too late in the game to take an inspiring artistic step forward.
  12. On Praise & Blame, that gusty Northern soul voice sounds as righteous and true as it does when he's operating in the more carnal regions of his catalog.
  13. Praise & Blame may not inspire much panty-hurling but it might cause open-minded music fans to reappraise Jones's interpretive gifts.
  14. It's a gauche mix of church and the rock'n'roll chestnuts he grew up on. Outside Robert Plant, it's hard to see who it'll appeal to.
  15. Uncut
    Fair play to Jones, He's a trier. [Sep 2010, p.96]
  16. Q Magazine
    There's nothing here for Jones to be ashamed of. [Sept. 2010, p. 115]
  17. With Praise & Blame, Jones dials down the camp and tries to act his age--he turned 70 in June. So what we get is a more refined, more serious Jones, and that's no fun at all.

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