Max Jackson, Edmonson Voice What? Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers? I know, I know, this is a LOCAL news site. We won't normally cover musical acts that aren't local, but sometimes you just have to make an exception. I won't hesitate when I say that most of today's music sucks. No matter what genre...whether it's rap, country (which the two are getting harder to tell apart) pop, rock, or whatever, it pretty much sucks. Wait...don't curse. I know what you're thinking, "You're old, what do you know?" Well, just because I'm over 40 doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about. Today's music sucks because you have no choice but to believe what you hear is good. Why? Because it ALL SOUNDS THE SAME. I listen to modern country and pop frequently, (I have teenage kids) and I have no way of telling which song is which. The beat is the same, the format is the same, all the dudes sound exactly alike and every song is about parties, jacked-up trucks, moonshine, bla bla. Oh, don't forget to add some sort of washed-up rap artist to the track for whatever reason. And pop? Well, nowadays, record labels or network tv talent shows simply take a good looking kid, throw a computer generated beat down, let them sing the same line over and over again, crank up the auto-tune, and BINGO! We have another platinum record. (Although that Ariana Grande chick is amazing.)
Ok, ok, what does this have to do with Tom Petty? Everything. Because the new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' album is the furthest thing from any of the stuff that I just complained about. Petty has made plenty of money in his career, but he's always played the music that HE wanted to, not what the market was currently calling for. It's just always happened to be really good. He doesn't use auto-tune, won't sing about mindless subjects, uses nothing computer-generated, and he simply doesn't give a crap what you or I think about his music.
I put the CD in my car and immediately made a mad face as I nodded up and down like a bobblehead. "American Dream Plan B," is the first cut on the album, and it delivers classic TP style. Three gritty guitars, a bass, a piano, and drums. Nothing else except Petty's vocal that sounds just like it did in 1979. The rest of the album is just as good as the first cut. No fancy effects or frills...just old cranked up amps. If you don't like Tom Petty, you won't like the record because the record IS Tom Petty. It's nothing like you'll hear on the radio, (and all that stuff I complained about above) but if you'll check it out, I guarantee most of you will agree that what you're hearing is very good, even though it's different from the "hits" you kids listen to. My favorites (including the first cut) are "Red River," "All You Can Carry," "Power Drunk," and a classic harmonica-driven, bluesy, "Burnt Out Town."
"Hypnotic Eye" is available in most all retail stores and for download. If you buy the actual CD, you get a code to also download the digital version at no charge that automatically installs on your devices. Go, buy it now, and stay off my lawn.