Jones the prayer is marooned on Island

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The Independent Culture

Reinventing his "Sex Bomb" persona for his latest album has paid off with music critics, but Tom Jones fell foul of a record executive who was unhappy with his new spiritual direction.

Island Records vice president David Sharpe stumbled across Praise & Blame, a collection of gospel, folk and blues tracks that is a departure fromthe star's usual upbeat pop material.

In an email leaked this weekend, Sharpe raged at a colleague: "I have just listened to the album in its entirety and want to know if this is some sick joke????

"We did not invest a fortune in an established artist for him to deliver 12 tracks from the common book of prayer. This is... certainly not what we paid for. Please don't give me the art over commerce argument, it's run its course.

"You need to pull back this project immediately or get my money back – for god sake what were you thinking when he went all spiritual?"