‘Mojo’ is definitely workin’ for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
By Jerry Shriver
USA Today — June 9, 2010
The veteran rocker’s latest album is a bluesy blast of classic rock.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mojo | ★★★ ½ GOT THEIR MAGIC WORKIN’
Given all the lyrical references to California’s finest cash crop, it’s remarkable that Petty and crew have delivered such a focused effort on their first album in eight years. Yet right from the opening harmonica riff on Jefferson Jericho Blues, the Petty/Mike Campbell/Benmont Tench core — together off and on now for more than 30 years — jumps into a classic-rock groove that’s greased with the blues, and they ride it for more than an hour.
There’s lots of loose and spirited instrumental interplay — lead guitarist Campbell owns this record — but it’s never aimless. Petty displays his influences proudly: The terrific opening four-song salvo alone evokes Highway 61-era Dylan, the Allman Brothers, The Byrds and the Dead, even Led Zep. Elsewhere there are some delicate (and mildly interesting) ballads, country blues and social commentary. (Something Good Coming is a tough lament for the aging unemployed.)
Though it’s overlong at 15 tracks, Mojo fits comfortably near the top of the group’s canon.
Download: The aforementioned tracks, First Flash of Freedom, Running Man’s Bible, The Trip to Pirate’s Cove, Lover’s Touch, High in the Morning, Good Enough The veteran rocker’s latest album is a bluesy blast of classic rock.
Skip: Don’t Pul l Me Over