Surrounded By Time

Tom Jones - Surrounded By Time
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
2021 Ratings: #54 / 247
User Score
Based on 52 ratings
2021 Ratings: #107
Liked by 1 person
April 23, 2021 / Release Date
LP / Format
S-Curve, EMI / Label
Art Rock / Genres
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The Telegraph
The Welsh powerhouse’s 40th album is a masterpiece of growling, brooding and hard-edged swagger – this old trouper is on top form.
It pays to listen to the originals, to form a full appreciation of just how much Jones brings to the table in each interpretation, expressing more emotion than he probably has at any point in his career.
Here, Jones and Johns finesse a substantial goalpost shift, from live-in-the-room authenticity to a spooked, digitised sound doubtless necessitated by current circumstances, capturing the unsettled contemporary mood.

Jones returns with probably his most adventurous covers-heavy collection yet.

‘Surrounded By Time’ finds an artist chafing against encroaching limitations, while also serving notice that he won’t be bound by them.
A release that embraces the gravitas and legacy of Tom’s life and attempts to tie up the loose ends.
The Independent

His barnacled baritone steers a steady course through Moog-soaked covers of favourite songs ... Jones is an ongoing triumph of hope and experience.

Evening Standard
It’s heady stuff, even more surprising if you’ve only heard him on ITV lately. What a wonderful surprise.
The Forty-Five
‘Surrounded by Time’, Jones’ fortieth studio album, and fourth with Johns, continues to centre his baritone gravitas – but wants it darker, with existential electronica.

Surrounded by Time is magnificent -- it's redolent with wisdom and a raging lust for life that is free of camp. It offers abundant proof that despite the passing of years, Jones has lost none his power or swagger.

Record Collector
Surrounded By Time is an often intriguing and always successful collection that ranges from the surely-he's-done-this-before balladry of The Windmills Of Your Mind to I-can't-believe-he's-done-that choices like The Waterboys' This Is The Sea and Michael Kiwanuka's I Won't Lie.
The Arts Desk
While his vocal range may have slipped a little from tenor to baritone, Jones's voice remains extraordinary - in tone and power - as he lets fly on a diverse range of pop, gospel and Americana.
The Guardian

At its most enjoyable, Surrounded By Time imagines a kind of alternative history for Jones.

This is quite intriguing. I have not heard a Tom Jones record before, and to be quite honest the big singles I have heard from him are quite great and I love his singing quite a bit. I was expecting a "standard" sort of sound with this album.

This was oddly gruff, experimental, and honestly fun and engaging. The instrumentation varies, with some noisy, distorted guitar driven tracks, moments of serene minimalist synths, raw acoustic guitars, sweeping background violins, and more. The ... read more
Tom Jones...THE Tom Jones of all people has decided to drop his version of Johnny Cash's American Recordings. This defies all logic in how good it actually is. Jones' baritone growls and hisses a bit now, it sounds weary, sounds rugged, but he can still belt one out when he wants. Talking Reality Television Blues hits an almost Tom Waits note, while more soulful numbers recall the latest Nick Cave offerings. Elsewhere Popstar sounds positively unhinged and loony, adjectives I'd never thought ... read more
I Won’t Crumble with You If You Fall - 3/5
The Windmills of Your Mind - 3/5
Popstar - 2/5
No Hole in My Head - 3/5
Talking Reality Television Blues - 3/5
I Won’t Lie - 3/5
This is the Sea - 3/5
One More Cup of Coffee - 3/5
Samson and Delilah - 3/5
Mother Earth - 4/5
I’m Growing Old - 3/5
Lazurus Man - 3/5
Tom Jones - Surrounded by Time

Genre: Art Rock
Country: UK

Final Verdict: 70% (Very Good Album)
Yearly Ranking: 65th / 401

Highlight: I'm Growing Old

Made me think of:
David Bowie
Lou Reed
Nick Cave
What a late career swerve.
It fucks straight through haha track for track i just have a manic grin on my face. Baffled. In love. Clearly Jones is as well as he's loving it all the way through, his vocal performances are as bold and boisterous as ever. This production owns. Song choices and original compositions own.

Thank you, Tom.
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Track List

  1. I Won’t Crumble with You If You Fall
  2. The Windmills of Your Mind
  3. Popstar
  4. No Hole in My Head
  5. Talking Reality Television Blues
  6. I Won’t Lie
  7. This is the Sea
  8. One More Cup of Coffee
  9. Samson and Delilah
  10. Mother Earth
  11. I’m Growing Old
  12. Lazurus Man
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Added on: March 16, 2021