12 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tom Petty's records always sound like they were made by the Valedictorian of Rock n' Roll 101, as if he listened to the old records and figured out how to create his own classic rock based on elemental rock n' roll truths. He's never tried to do too much; much like Neil Young, he's found the direct path is the most convincing. For this third solo album, Petty keeps it simple, reigning in the usual plush textures of producer Jeff Lynne for something closer to the stripped down folksy approach of his 1994 Wildflowers release. Father Time clearly weighs on his mind. Though the album's title gives the clue that Petty hears these songs as ones for the road, the mileage is wracking up. ("If you don't run, you rust," he sings, echoing Neil Young in "Big Weekend"). It all adds up to one of Petty's most poignant albums. "Saving Grace" begins things with an excited shuffle, but the undertow is there ("And it's hard to say/ who you are these days / but you run on anyway") and is most effective on the quietest numbers ("Square One," "Damaged by Love").

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tom Petty's records always sound like they were made by the Valedictorian of Rock n' Roll 101, as if he listened to the old records and figured out how to create his own classic rock based on elemental rock n' roll truths. He's never tried to do too much; much like Neil Young, he's found the direct path is the most convincing. For this third solo album, Petty keeps it simple, reigning in the usual plush textures of producer Jeff Lynne for something closer to the stripped down folksy approach of his 1994 Wildflowers release. Father Time clearly weighs on his mind. Though the album's title gives the clue that Petty hears these songs as ones for the road, the mileage is wracking up. ("If you don't run, you rust," he sings, echoing Neil Young in "Big Weekend"). It all adds up to one of Petty's most poignant albums. "Saving Grace" begins things with an excited shuffle, but the undertow is there ("And it's hard to say/ who you are these days / but you run on anyway") and is most effective on the quietest numbers ("Square One," "Damaged by Love").

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