Mojo (Bonus Track Version)

Mojo (Bonus Track Version)

With his last solo album, 2006’s Highway Companion, Tom Petty began feeling his age, reflecting on how much of his life was now past. Now at 60, he again teams up with his Heartbreakers and re-finds his, well, “mojo” with this compelling modern version of the blues. The Heartbreakers have always been a solid rock for Petty, and their playing has always served the songs to the point where their musicianship’s often been overlooked. But Mike Campbell is among the best second men in rock, and his lead guitar playing has defined Petty’s sound for years. Here, it comes out blistering, as if the band have spent their entire career studying Chicago blues. There’s the slow creep of “Takin’ My Time,” the full-on highway attack of “U.S. 41,” and the heartbreak shuffle of “Let Yourself Go,” where Petty takes his FM-radio croon and his classic rock stature and applies it to the music that influenced his influences. “Don’t Pull Me Over” sparkles with a touch of country honky-tonk in its visions of falling stars on moonlit nights. It’s an unexpected and welcomed move from a guy more often likened to folk-rock and the jangle of The Byrds.

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