Spirit in the Room

  • Record Label: Rounder
  • Release Date: Apr 23, 2013

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. May 17, 2013
    Tom Jones is almost 73 years old, is singing as well as he ever has while refusing to conform to his stereotypes, is artistically and perhaps spiritually searching and restless, and is recording perhaps the finest music of his long career.
  2. Apr 26, 2013
    If it can’t quite pack the same surprise blindsiding punch of Praise & Blame, it’s now crystal clear that Sir Tom is, almost fifty years along, recording the strongest albums of his career.
  3. Mojo
    Jul 18, 2012
    The grain and gravitas of Jones's voice is perfectly suited to this diverse material. [Jun 2012, p.82]
  4. 80
    Thankfully, he's well advised: the material is carefully chosen to exploit his abilities.
  5. May 30, 2012
    It may be time to tinker next time around, but right now he's redeemed an awful lot of himself.
  6. May 29, 2012
    While Spirit in the Room matches its predecessor on a track-by-track level, it's only in those last moments that the whole package seems as thematically sound and well designed.
  7. May 22, 2012
    With this album and its predecessor, he has achieved a genuine gravitas and, more importantly, a believable honesty.
  8. Uncut
    May 21, 2012
    It doesn't always work, but when it does, it suggests a great artist finding new and surer ground. [Jun 2012, p.77]
  9. Q Magazine
    Jun 20, 2012
    He thrives when bringing gravitas to the sparse blues of Soul Of a Man and extraordinary tenderness to the Low Anthem Charlie Darwin. [Jun 2012, p.105]
  10. Like the late Johnny Cash, Jones has reinterpreted the venerable songs in a bare, bluesy style. Unlike Cash, he never quite makes them his own.
  11. May 21, 2012
    The album has to be judged a late-period triumph, even if I am not entirely convinced The Voice's avuncular judge is quite as deep as the material demands.
  12. May 21, 2012
    It's never as rollicking as 2010's Praise and Blame, though a version of Tom Waits' Bad As Me will sound agreeably demented to anyone who's never heard the original.
  13. May 21, 2012
    Ultimately, you conclude, Jones's golden voice was built for hooting, hollering and hubba-hubba-ing at the ladies, not mulling things over.
  14. May 21, 2013
    Covers of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits are good fits; elsewhere, his off the leash vibrato oversells.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 2
  2. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 8, 2012
    Tom Jones has had a long and nearly legendary career, reinventing himself time and time again over the decades in his bid for relevance. AndTom Jones has had a long and nearly legendary career, reinventing himself time and time again over the decades in his bid for relevance. And he has done remarkably well. A cartoon icon of the sexy sixties, he's the last man standing of his Easy Listening contemporaries.

    But music has changed - not just in style and tempo, but in connection. Jones predates the Singer/Songwriter, and has made his career singing the songs of other men. In the past, his range, bombast and verve has carried him through. With "Spirit in the Room," however, the veneer has been stripped away enough to expose his disconnection with the material.

    The notes are there, the presentation is there... but all too often, it feels like he's singing phonetically in a language foreign to himself. The emotional underpinning of the songs he covers here feel unsupported; they are words to music without resonance in his soul.

    They are acoustic Sussudio.

    I have heard this album - this style - compared with Johnny Cash's later works, and the comparison is valid, And, at 70, it is understandable why Jones would vector his career in this direction. But Cash was a songwriter, and knew as well as any real troubadour the connection between the story and the heart. Where Cash could internalize another man's song and transmute it to his own, Jones is only able to present it. He presents it well - but presentation alone is not enough to make this release anything more than a novelty in his catalog.
    Full Review »
  2. May 31, 2012
    Tom Jones na "Spirit In The Room" zamieÅ