Tom Jones has shared a cover of Todd Snider’s “Talkin Reality Television Blues.” The single comes as the first from Jones’ upcoming album Surrounded by Time, which will be released on April 23. The upcoming album will also feature covers of Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan and more.
Jones speaks the lyrics of the track over twining guitars and steady drums, his smooth and contemplative voice delivering each line. The track discusses the presidency of Donald Trump, saying “reality killed by a reality star,” before falling into captivating guitar solo. Sparkling synths dance through the track, humming beneath the words of the song.
“Talking Reality Television Blues” takes listeners through the existence of the television, beginning with old talk shows and the moon landing, then making its way to the rise of “alternative” facts and utilizing TV as a full-time escape from reality.
“Tom Jones is as great as a singer as there has ever been,” Snider said in a press statement. “I prefer his version of the song to my own.”
Snider’s version of the track takes on a more folksy tune, reminiscent of the popular style of the talking blues. Accompanied by an acoustic guitar and harmonica, the original track is much more simple than Jones’ version.
Jones and David Gilmore had shared an old cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” earlier this year, honoring the fourth anniversary of the legendary musician’s death. Jones’ upcoming album follows 2015’s Long Lost Suitcase, with the album’s track titles interwoven with chapters of his autobiography, Over the Top and Back, which had been released at the same time.
Surrounded By Time tracklist:
1. “I Won’t Crumble With You If You Fall” (Bernice Johnson Reagon)
2. “The Windmills Of Your Mind” (Michel Legrand/Alan & Marilyn Bergman)
3. “Popstar” (Yusuf/Cat Stevens)
4. “No HOle In My Head” (Malvina Reynolds)
5. “Talking Reality Television Blues” (Todd Snider)
6. “I Won’t Lie” (Michael Kiwanuka & Paul Butler)
7. “This is the Sea” (Michael Scott)
8. “One More Cup Of Coffee” (Bob Dylan)
9. “Samson And Delilah” (Tom Jones, Ethan Johns, Mark Woodward)
10. “Mother Earth” (Tony Jo White)
11. “I’m Growing Old” (Bobby Cole)
12. “Lazarus Man” (Terry Callier)
Photo credit: Boston Lynn Schulz