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Tom Jones - Long Lost Suitcase (Review)

Tom Jones, Long Lost Suitcase

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

LONG Lost Suitcase marks the third in a trilogy of albums from Tom Jones that started with Praise & Blame and continued with Spirit In The Room.

But while Praise & Blame covered blues and gospel and Spirit… offered up more of a soulful collection, this one finds the 75-year-old Jones paying homage to the likes of Gillian Welch, Rolling Stones, Hank Williams and The Milk Carton Kids. Unfortunately, it’s somewhat uneven and sometimes just plain indulgent.

At its best the album reinterprets, such as in the stripped back desolation of album opener, Opportunity To Cry (a former Willie Nelson standard), or in a hauntingly poignant version of Welch’s Elvis Presley Blues, which reverberates with strong guitars early on before reflecting on the death of a rock ‘n’ roll king. It’s in moments like these that the album can truly be said to be playing to the strengths of Jones’ deep vocals.

By contrast, Everybody Loves A Train feels a little too sprawling and self-satisfying. The blues and slide guitars are a bonus but Jones’ vocals here struggle to make any kind of impact, especially when being sung-spoke. It meanders when it should really rattle along.

His rambling take on Lonnie Johnson’s Tomorrow Night is another dull effort where both vocals and instrumentals struggle to gain any kind of momentum and rob the album of some of its drive.

It’s a criticism that marks the album as a whole. For every good moment, there’s a below par one waiting in the wings.

But if we’re concentrating on the positives, then an Irish-tinged take on The Rolling Stones’ Factory Girl is great fun (especially instrumentally), as is the impassioned blues of I Wish You Would, which actually recalls the bombastic style of Jones in his heyday.

And Jones fans will doubtless lap it all up, especially if they’ve collected the first two parts of the trilogy so far.

Long Lost Suitcase is therefore a decent finale to that body of work… just one that sometimes feels a little over-packed.

Download picks: Opportunity To Cry, Honey, Honey, Elvis Presley Blues, Factory Girl, I Wish You Would

Track listing:

  1. Opportunity To Cry
  2. Honey, Honey
  3. Take My Love (I Want To Give It)
  4. Bring It On Home
  5. Everybody Loves A Train
  6. Elvis Presley Blues
  7. He Was A Friend Of Mine
  8. Factory Girl
  9. I Wish You Would
  10. ‘Til My Back Ain’t Got No Bone
  11. Why Don’t You Love Me Like You Used To Do?
  12. Tomorrow Night
  13. Raise A Ruckus