Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 13th studio release is a hard-rocking, well-written gem. Petty’s first (ever!) number-one-selling record on the Billboard charts.
Though a seasoned veteran, Petty’s voice sounds as fresh and rebellious as it did in 1978 — world-weary (maybe), but always hopeful. “American Dream Plan B" kicks off the collection with raw, speaker-pounding power chords that grab your ears, into which Tom snarls, "I’m gonna make my way through this world someday/ I don't care what nobody say." And you believe him...and would gladly share a foxhole.
"Faultines" features another pounding bass, courtesy of Ron Blair, and Mike Campbell’s fuzzed-up, psychedelic guitar intro to Scott Thurston's howling harmonica and Petty singing, "On the high wire, above the wildfire, the old acrobat/ on faulty cable, but still he is able not to fall flat." The late-night song on the record, "Sins of My Youth," features Benmont Tench’s organ and mellotron and trills about long-term love and that truth is the key to happiness.
Rocker "U Get Me High" features a classic Campbell/Petty guitar groove that conjures an image of a snake slithering through the swamp. Steve Ferrone is rock solid on the drums, keeping time throughout with subtle thunder.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers could have ridden off into the sunset on a catalog of hits that span four decades. Instead, they deliver a masterwork that reflects a still-vital group of musicians devoted to their craft.
- Album: Hypnotic Eye
- Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
- Label: Reprise Records
- Songs: (1) American Dream Plan B (2) Faultlines (3) Red River (4) Full Grown Boy (5) All You Can Carry (6) Power Drunk (7) Forgotten Man (8) Sins of My Youth (9) U Get Me High (10) Burnt Out Town (11) Shadow People