Friday, August 1, 2014

Re Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers' HYPNOTIC EYE.

As of this writing, I've heard just about all of the new, hyped as return-to-form, album HYPNOTIC EYE from Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.  Yes, it's an improvement over the marinated-in-blues predecessor MOJO--but it's not the artistic and musical rejuvenation Bruce Springsteen had with MAGIC and R.E.M. had with ACCELERATE.

Petty has been on the Warner Bros. family of labels for about twenty years now.  And it's one of those times when one can actually feel empathy for the corporate bean-counters instead of the truculent artist.  I'm guessing that there are many times when WB recording executives have heard Tom Petty say variations of "I have nothing left to prove and my fan base will follow me wherever I go."

Here's my evaluation of the last twenty years of Tom Petty:
Only "essential" Heartbreakers collection; the LIVE RECORDINGS boxset.
"Essential" solo album: WILDFLOWERS (receiving an expanded reissue later this year)
Worthwhile "one for me" project: the MUDCRUTCH album.

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