Truth be told, this track has been hanging out in my queue for a spell, but I just don’t know what to make of it. Tom Jones teamed up with our favorite recording engineer, Ethan Johns, for his latest record, Praise And Blame, an album that recalls the Rick Rubin/Johnny Cash American series of yore and opens up with an uber-intimate take on Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy song “What Good Am I?”
Jones’ skillful vocal performance is undeniably more controlled than Dylan’s original, but what’s missing? Dylan’s off-the-cuff delivery? Call me Carlton Banks, if you must, but this is the Tom Jones I love most.
Johns’ production is understated and gorgeous, as usual, and yet this is certainly no “Call Me On Your Way Back Home.” We’re torn on this one, kids, but something tells me that’s a good thing this time. Hear it here.