Mojo, the latest effort by veteran outfit Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has been a long time in coming - the band's last release was way back in 2002 - but Mojo is well worth the wait. Petty and the band bring every ounce of their diverse and fine-tuned musical talents to this record, and the result is a dynamic marriage of roots-folk, blues and that old-time rock and roll that made Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers a household name.
From the upbeat delta rhythm of "Jefferson Jericho Blues" to the Dire Straits-esque swing sentiments of "Running Man's Bible", from the haunting psychedelia of "The Trip to Pirate's Cove" to the mournful soul of the bookend "Good Enough", the album is very much a musical journey, not just through genre or style, but through the novel's worth of stories Petty has collected in his years on the road. And back on the road he is yet again with a full North American tour. Starting on June 1st in Colorado, and ending October 2nd in California, you can click HERE for all tour dates.
Another song that has to be mentioned is the single "I Should Have Known It." Petty and the Heartbreakers really stripped down to the bare bones for this album, going for a no-nonsense raw sound. They even went as far as recording all instruments simultaneously 'live off the floor' in the studio with no overdubs, and the difference is like night and day. No song represents this sound more than "I Should Have Known It." Through the video they made for the song which showcases the band's "jam space," you can't help but get the feeling this is exactly how they recorded the album together:
Many bands try recording live off the floor and it's a pretty hit/miss recording technique. In the case of Mojo, Tom Petty and his producers got it spot on, and in this writer's humble opinion, this is one of the best sounding live-off-the-floor records I've ever heard. They managed to reproduce their dynamic and energetic live sound successfully, without sacrificing the quality and high production value you get from multi-track recording separately. Well done.
Overall, from start to finish Mojo is a must-have for Heartbreakers fans the world over, but the album's true value will be in introducing a whole new generation to a well-oiled rock and roll machine that - even after more than thirty years of touring - is still producing quality material guaranteed to appeal to music lovers of all stripes.
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