Mar 152012

Big-hearted, booming Welsh show-stopping singer Tom Jones (not his real name, I just learned, so BigSteve was not joking in our recent Last Man Standing) may go from “0 to 60” in intensity quicker than any other singer in (relatively) modern music. There’s a special approach to his burst of intensity that I feel exemplifies a certain type of male singing. It’s as if he takes a guttural scoop toward any material put in front of him. You can hear it on the opening lines in one of his early hits, “It’s Not Unusual.” Jones comes right at the listener like a firm handshake:

There’s no denying Jones’ aggressive approach to such a swinging song, but what makes him special is his ability to dig in on a tender waltz-time ballad like “Delilah.”

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