I was getting bored with Tom Petty's music, but when I heard all the hype about his new album, Mojo, I decided to buy it.

Wow! If I had to pick one word to describe the bluesy rock and original songs on this album, it would be “fresh.”

The opening song, “Jefferson Jericho Blues,” hits with a repeated, driving beat behind lyrics about Thomas Jefferson's affair with one of his slaves, Sally Hemmings: “Midnight creeping out to the servant's shack, kept the secret under the bed, wrapped in a burlap sack.” A history lesson you can dance to.

The sound quality and production values on the record are impeccable. It lives up to Petty's pre-release statement that he wanted to “show other people what I hear with the band.”

The standout tracks include blues-rockers “Running Man's Bible,” “Candy,” and “High in the Morning”; slow dancers “The Trip to Pirate's Cove” and “No Reason to Cry”; and a reggae-beat tune featuring Springsteen-like blue-collar lyrics, “Don't Pull Me Over.”

Though the band, as always, is solid, Mojo is a breakout for longtime guitarist Mike Campbell, whose leads soar throughout the collection.

Petty sings on lead single “Takin My Time,” “I'm slowing down a little bit.” No way, Tom, with this album you sound as if you're starting over.

  • Album: Mojo (2010)
  • Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Label: Reprise
  • Songs: (1) Jefferson Jericho Blues (2) First Flash of Freedom (3) Running Man's Bible (4) The trip to Pirates Cove (5) Candy (6) No Reason to Cry (7) I Should Have known it (8) U.S. 41 (9) Takin’ My Time (10) Let Yourself Go (11) Don't Pull Me Over (12) Lover's Touch (13) High in the Morning (14) Something Good Comming (15) Good Enough

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