and a half
Tom Petty, rock and roll purist that he is, has gone back to his roots for the new album titled Mojo. Which is saying a lot considering his music was rootsy to start with. On Mojo, Petty and the Heartbreakers turn back the clock to the late 60s when rock was bluesier. Hard edged guitar riffs, organ bits skidding around and some psychedelic jamming takes over in a big way. This is probably the best "band" effort since 1999's Echo.
Speaking of the band, the stand out performance has to be lead guitarist Mike Campbell's. Long regarded one of the finest and most tasteful guitarist in rock, Campbell has made a name for himself based on economical solos and meaty grooves. On Mojo, Campbell cuts loose with extended solos that sizzle and bite with ferocious power. If you ever listened to his playing before and wondered what the big deal was, here's the disc to listen to.
Petty responds with some fine songwriting, the silly offhand "Candy" is my personal favorite. The heavy rockin "I Should Have Known It" has a strong impact as does the classic Petty sounding "Running Man's Bible". In another shot of welcome humor, the band does lite reggae to Petty's current ode to Mary Jane "Don't Pull Me Over". There isn't a bum track on the lengthy 15 cut disc.
Mojo is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in a natural and fully inspired moment. An amazing album.