Savannah Morning News — April 18, 1999

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Reviews of new CDs
Savannah Morning News — Sunday, April 18, 1999

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Echo.” Tom Petty’s long journey through Americana takes a detour down melancholy side roads on his 14th album. Back with his longtime supporting cast, the Heartbreakers, for their first full-blown collaboration in eight years, Petty unveils an album where the playing is typically top-notch, the organic jangle rich and familiar.

Unlike the Florida rocker’s latest two records — “Wildflowers” and “Songs and Music From ‘She’s the One,'” which toyed with a crisp power pop sound — “Echo” is back to earth, with instrumentation and arrangements that are lean but potent. Petty’s weathered eloquence serves him well on tracks both world-weary (“Echo”) and upbeat (“Won’t Back Long”), and the Heartbreakers make gloriously vivid noise on songs like “About to Give Out.” There’s a haziness about the album that begs to be misinterpreted as listlessness, and many of these tunes are delivered with a startlingly heavy heart, but ultimately “Echo” is a rewarding reverberation. Rating: ★★★

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