The Tampa Tribune — June 17, 2010

Heartbreakers catch up with Petty’s ‘Mojo’
By Curtis Ross
The Tampa Tribune — June 17, 2010

Tom Petty’s greatest albums of the past 20 years — “Full Moon Fever,” “Wildflowers” and the eponymous “Mudcrutch” — haven’t borne the Heartbreakers name alongside his. Sure, guitarist Mike Campbell is never far from his side, and it’s still Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers when it’s time to tour. But the most recent Heartbreakers efforts either have been slight (“She’s the One”), muddled (“Echo”) or more admirable for sentiment than great songs (“The Last DJ”).

“Mojo” is the corrective — a great Petty album that finds him reunited in the studio with the full Heartbreakers contingent.

This is by far the bluesiest we’ve ever heard the Heartbreakers, the lessons learned from the Elmore James and Slim Harpo covers the young Petty and Co. inevitably learned in their woodshedding days finally coming to the fore.

The blues influence is obvious in “Candy” and “Jefferson Jericho Blues,” more so but just as strong in “Don’t Pull Me Over,” which echoes from Bob Marley’s “Rebel Music (3 O’Clock Road Block),” and the “Abbey Road”-esque closer, “Good Enough.”

Petty and the band sound relaxed and confident, going places in some songs — “First Flash of Freedom,” for example — maybe only they knew they could.

At 15 songs and 65 minutes long, “Mojo” could be tighter. But each song, even the slightest, has its own special joys. Viva Heartbreakers.

Download this: “First Flash of Freedom”

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