The Guardian Trouble is, for all that, Praise & Blame is not bad at all. There is little of the racked gravitas of Cash’s final studio sessions here, and not much of Plant and Krauss’s (and producer T-Bone Burnett’s) penchant for reanimating off-beat rarities. Aficionados tend to prefer revamped legends whispery and contrite, rather than vigorous and finger-clicking. Jones grew up on these hymns and spirituals; his enthusiasm for this project is palpable.
PopMatters Praise and Blame is a triumph—a searing, immediate, brilliantly sung record that lays waste to these eleven semi-obscure songs of faith. Jones has done stripped-down before, as on the quasi-country hit “Green, Green Grass of Home” back in the ‘60s, but he’s never been this raw, and it’s a refreshing sound that fits him like extra-tight trousers.
BBC A confusing release that will appeal little to those beyond Jones’ generation. It’s a gauche mix of church and the rock’n’roll chestnuts he grew up on. Outside Robert Plant, it’s hard to see who it’ll appeal to. A sincere reimagining of more arch songs – like Cash doing Hurt – would have grabbed our throats and hearts.