ALBUM REVIEW: TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS “HYPNOTIC EYE”

hypnotic eye cover

Words by: Gerrod Harris

Release Date: July 29, 2014, via Reprise Records

Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s follow up to 2010’s Mojo, Hypnotic Eye, serves to be one of the bands better albums.  Earlier in 2013, when Petty announced that he had been writing a new album, he declared it would be a straight up rock and roll album, and they certainly delivered just that: a rock n’ roll record, reminiscent of their classic blues, psychedelic and rock tone, with a modern edge.

The album kicks off with the first single, the almost grungy American Dream Plan B.  It’s rare that we see a politically angry Petty in his music; however the tone suits him quite well.  After this we are thrown into the very contrasting Fault Lines, which sounds of a late 60’s psychedelic dance tune.  Although a huge shift in styles, it seems to work.  In fact most of the album features stylistic jumps between songs; often going between hard hitting rock like All You Can Carry, traditional slow blues as heard in Burnt Out Town, and soft, but powerful ballads like Sins of my Youth.  The album also features a few songs which sound as if to come out of Tom Petty’s Damn the Torpedoes era of the late 1970’s and early 80’s. As I’m writing this, I am on my seventh play through on the album and it has become hard to just choose one song as the album’s show stopper.  If I had to choose I would go with a three way tie between the groovy bass line and guitar solos of Fault Lines, the bluesy ballad that is Full Grown Boy, and the hard hitting (for Tom Petty’s standards) U Get Me High.

Hypnotic Eye is the thirteenth album from Tom Petty and the boys, which marks 38 years since the band’s first album.  A big Tom Petty fan myself, I am very happy with this album, and I think it’s safe to say that Hypnotic Eye can stand up beside  his acclaimed albums such as Damn the Torpedoes, Into the Great Wide Open, and Wildflowers among others, as some of his best work.  Just as he has done, time and time again, Petty has proven to be one of America’s greatest rock n’ roll song writers.  Fans, old and new, should definitely give the album a listen to… Or ten. 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with special guest, Steve Winwood, will be playing in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on August 26th, 2014.

Track Listing:

1: American Dream Plan B

2: Fault Lines

3: Red River

4: Full Grown Boy

5: All You Can Carry

6: Power Drunk

7: Forgotten Man

8: Sins of my Youth

9: U Get Me High

10: Burnt Out Town

11: Shadow People

Listen to “U Get Me High” here via YouTube:

One response to “ALBUM REVIEW: TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS “HYPNOTIC EYE”

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