CD Review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Step Back From Rock and Go Blue on Mojo

Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Album: Mojo

Label: Reprise

Release Date: June 15

Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Stream (or perhaps buy at their merch booth this weekend at the Gorge).

Watch: The video for "I Should Have Known It"

Mr. Petty and his band of reputed scoundrels may be longer in the tooth, but it's evident that no one's chops are suffering on their latest effort. Despite the fact that they are sliding comfortably away from the blue-collar rock that is their perennially profitable calling card and towards a grimier, gritty take on classic blues, the band sounds very much at home. Mike Campbell in particular is in fighting form, wringing delicious tones from his guitar and working right in the pocket alongside Petty, who is clearly enjoying sinking into rootsier territory.

This is the blues, so there are more than a few indulgent, somewhat repetitive tangents, but that actually makes it feel like a fitting soundtrack for the long-winding road trip back from the Gorge, where they play tonight and tomorrow. Besides, everyone in the parking lot will be cranking "American Girl" on the way out--you may as well get a little familiar with the new material on your way home (presuming they're selling advance copies at the show).

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