You can call it ‘classic rock’ if you want, but its done by Tom Petty and its released in 2010. That’s right, on June 29 Tom Petty released his umpteenth studio album, ‘Mojo.’ Approaching the album with caution is understandable, after all, there are few mainstream musicians who are still making enjoyable music after they have reached the 30 year mark. Unlike the Black Sabbaths and the Deep Purples, but similar to peers of his like The Boss and Dylan, its satisfying to hear Petty making music that’s relevant to where he is in his career.
For the most part, ‘Mojo,’ is a pretty lazy album. Two types of lazy, in fact. The first is lazy like the back porch/rocking chair combo. The second is lazy like bad swagger. The rhythmic rocking will fall on beat with the slower half of ‘Mojo’ and the faster songs are delivered with a slick and sly maturity, one that will turn on sunglasses-mode on cloudy day. You can whittle wood during ‘First Flash of Freedom,’ and take a break during ‘Takin’ My Time’ to push some more dip between your gums.
Overall Petty has kept the record light and fairly simple. His guitar tone his sweet, slightly reminiscent of Back Door Slam or John Mayer. And as these comparisons suggest, ‘Mojo’ is pretty bluesy. There’s nothing ground breaking here, but is that what you’ve come to expect from the man who has mastered turning middle of the road rock songs into cool ditty’s?
In case its still unclear how an album featuring two types of lazy can remain interesting, let us take a look at some of the stand outs. ‘Candy’ has in its back seat a bouncy guitar riff accentuated by a meandering solo throughout, while upfront the no frills drumming is doing a fine job speeding down the highway. Lead off single, ‘I Should Have Known It’ sounds like a sleazy Led Zeppelin, and ‘U.S. 41’ starts out as a Delta Blues song. ‘Runnin’ Man’s Bible’ is reminiscent of ‘Runnin’ Down A Dream’ in not only title but also vibe and the album’s closer sounds like it was resurrected from the 70’s, particularly because of the slight similarity to Pink Floyd’s ‘Echoes.’ Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
In case it wasn’t obvious, the album is really good. Pretty standard, but really good. If you like the blues, singer-songwriters, the 70’s, and lazy Sunday afternoons on a Monday night, then go ahead and check out the album. If you don’t like the above, come back soon for the upcoming Danko Jones review.