Petty's a diamond only in the rough
By Jim Angell
Tri City Herald - December 31, 1982
Long After Dark. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Backstreet Records. ★★
Raw rocker Tom Petty is filing off some of his rough edges as he grows older, creating a slicker -- but not necessarily better -- sound than the one which brought him to fame with "Refugee."
It would seem Petty would get tired of the same old love ballads and stories of the street featuring the same repetitive lyrics and simple melody lines. Because everyone else is.
Petty's favorite material is still the story of a love gone bad which may or may not be saved, coupled with some driving rhythm guitar work. Although he does take a stab at a few style in "We Stand A Chance," featuring hard, stacatto keyboard work, the lyrics are strained and sometimes mindless.
Petty is still an expert in rough rock. But his smoother, middle-of-the-road approach to this album will leave many listeners looking somewhere else for more powerful, deeper music.