Tom Jones knocks out
old and new hits
on ‘Reloaded’

"Reloaded: Greatest Hits"
Tom Jones

Tom Jones went through a bit of a makeover in the late 1980s. The veteran Welsh-born singer and popular Las Vegas showman had already made a name for himself for his robust voice and female-pleasing onstage persona, starting with a string of hits dating back to 1965's "It's Not Unusual." But his recording career took a back seat to his always busy concert schedule until the '80s.

It wasn't until he recorded Prince's "Kiss" with Art of Noise in 1988 that Jones was back in the limelight. Since then the man has shown that he's still virile in voice and stage presence to this very day.

A good case for his still-relevant versatility is made with this welcome overview of hits both old and new, inspired by the success of his U.K.-released "Reload" of four years back.

The "Reloaded" sequence of tracks flip-flops between the better collaborations from that album to his tried-and-true '60s fave singles. It also includes his more current hits since '99: his take on the Leadbelly-via-Ram Jam song "Black Betty" and the good-natured "Tom Jones International" (both produced with the help of Wyclef Jean), plus this year's "If I Only Knew."

The core selection of hits from the '60s are a no-brainer -- I mean, you can't lose with the inclusion of such sexy rousers as "It's Not Unusual," the David-Bacharach sing-along "What's New Pussycat?" "Delilah," "She's a Lady," the James Bond theme "Thunderball" and "Help Yourself." Jones' quieter but still powerful delivery is heard on the country-inspired "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Without Love (There Is Nothing)" and "With These Hands."

Along with "Kiss," the "Reload" collaborations are highlighted by inspired versions of "Burning Down the House" (with Nina Persson and the Cardigans), "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (U.K. favorites Stereophonics) and the seasonal "Baby, It's Cold Outside," paired with the charmingly eccentric Cerys Matthews.

Two of the better pairings can be heard in his soulful duet with Van Morrison on "Sometimes We Cry" and an intriguing matchup with trip-hoppers Portishead on the traditional "Motherless Child" that is absolutely cinematic in scope.

And Jones is still involved with unusual collaborations -- you can currently hear him sing, with backing help of the Flaming Lips, the theme song to Cartoon Network's "Duck Dodgers" series.

Jones, the Lips and Daffy Duck -- now that's an inspired combination!

It's proof positive that Tom Jones is still cool, even 40 years on.

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2003 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --