I am a huge fan of classic rock. I mean I LOVE it. Led Zeppelin changed my life. But, as a personal rule of sorts, I don't buy new CDs by "old" artists. This stems from an experience I had in high school. For reasons still unclear, I decided to buy Aerosmith's 2001 release Just Push Play -- and it was awful.
However, a few weeks ago I was at Best Buy and saw that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' new CD, Mojo, was only $10. So I picked it up.
Mojo sees Petty and his boys go back to Petty's Southern roots with a blues-infused rock and roll record. Right from the start, with "Jefferson Jericho Blues," Mojo displays an upbeat, guitar-driven foundation that continues throughout with tracks "Candy," "U.S. 41" and "I Should Have Known It."
With a few slower numbers to balance itself out, Mojo makes for a fairly solid listen. It isn't Petty's best, nor does it have any signature standout singles that have made Petty so famous. But what it gives you is a different side of Petty.
If you listen to Petty's library, you'll hear a very tight, very focused band that takes a very professional approach to their music. The case can even be made for calling Petty a perfectionist, if you recall the tale of how Petty broke his hand punching a wall after becoming frustrated while recording the song "Rebels" on the Southern Accents album (of course, drugs are also to blame for the incident).
Mojo, on the other hand, presents Petty and the band at arguably their most relaxed. While it doesn't posses the raw swagger of someone like The Rolling Stones, the blues influence does give the album a very laid back vibe.
It's not perfect, but the album is a gratifying listen for any Petty fans looking for something fresh. Plus, it got me to repeal my ban.
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