Reviews roundup – Tom Jones vs. Sandi Thom vs. Isurus

Long Lost Suitcase
Virgin EMI

The Voice may no longer be on The Voice, but you can’t move without bumping into Sir Thomas the Jones these days, what with the autobiography, the forthcoming stage musical and this, the third album since his septuagenarian reinvention as a blues, roots and soul singer.

That started with “Praise And Blame”, and this latest installment is just as good, even without the benefit of surprise.  As before, he ranges across songs from all eras, going back to the blues of Little Willie John, through the country of Willie Nelson and even a visit to the Rolling Stones back catalogue.

That covers ‘Take My Love (I Want To Give It)’, ‘Opportunity to Cry’ and ‘Factory Girl’, and even if the voice isn’t quite as fully rounded as it used to be, there is a depth and quality that only comes along once in a generation..


SANDI THOM Earthquake (single)SANDI THOM
Earthquake (single)

Sandi Thom has had a bash at most things since her long ago number one hit single, having gone through folk, pop and most recently the blues.  Well, she’s back, and this time it’s with an eighties styled power ballad, straight out of the Anastacia back catalogue.  Which means I like it.

I’m guessing from the lyrics that her split with Joe Bonamassa wasn’t mutual, as it seems to have come as a bit of a surprise, and she’s going all cathartic here as she lets rip about her feelings.  Normally, I’m not keen on that sort of thing as feelings are to be repressed at all costs, but it works here as you can sense real emotion.

Whether this will get her back to the top is debatable.  Her newly found blues fans may not be so keen, but get it on Radio 2, and she could be in with a shout.  She’s on tour in November and December – for details.



Some British prog metal now, and it’s the second album from London based Isurus, four years on from their debut, “Telos”.

They make a fair old racket for a three piece, and their approach to prog metal is very modern, in the vein of Tool and their ilk, which may not be my favourite route to the genre, but with a good approach to melody, and all the requisite time changes, it still makes for a good listen.

I like it best when they play up the metal side, which leads to ‘Orbis’ being a big favourite, alongside ‘Hospes’ which has some fantastic percussion.  The band are all excellent, with some fine vocals from Braun Amore, and it has a great body and depth for an indie release, possibly because they’ve got Daniel Bergstrand to mix their own production.  And as someone who has worked with Meshuggah and In Flames, he knows how to get a good sound.