Somewhere in the last coupla weeks I read part of someone's review of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' Mojo, their first all-new album in eight years. It said something like, "I'm sure the record company heard this at first and thought, 'I don't hear a single,'" and I would have to agree. But that's not really the point with Petty these days, is it? Do you need to hear a radio-friendly, hook-happy toe-tapper from him anymore, or is a solid album of great music good enough?
Mojo falls somewhere in between those two scenarios. The first half of the album is pretty great, and sounds awesome thanks to Petty & Co.'s dedication to high fidelity, with some great tunes. I like the lead cut, "Jefferson Jericho Blues," and the following one, "First Flash of Freedom," and on side 2, "Candy" (not Iggy Pop's icky '90s hit). After that, across the four sides of vinyl that make this an album (or one CD if you'd rather save the money), the pickings feel kinda slim. Strangely, the last cut, "Good Enough," with its slight Screamin' Jay Hawkins tune/vibe, is the next greatest cut, with some wicked soloing from Mike Campbell and some of the Hawkins via John Fogerty voodoo guitar trickery.
But the point is, you probably don't buy a Petty release these days for the hit single. Do ya? You buy it because you can count on his commitment to making good music after all these years. Surely he's no longer part of the machine that produces smash hits to slobbering teens... now he's one of those guys who makes good, reliable rock 'n' roll for slobbering folks in their 30s and 40s. And since I'm in that bracket, I guess you could say that Mojo was made just for me. That being said, I'd give this record a...