The Petty Archives

Petty pleasures
By Kannan Chandran
The Straits Times - May 12, 1985

Southern Accents | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (MCA)
Petty's lazy drawl is played off against strong melody lines to offer the listener a totally balanced sound on this album. It's laid-back comfort versus high-energy zip.

Petty, who suffered a broken hand while doing this album, is in fine form. The music is full, yet not overrun by instruments. Bass, guitar, drums and horns combine to give a rich, wholesome rock sound that remains fresh after repeated listenings.

The familiar twanging guitar still sets the tone, while subtle shifts in tempo and feel leave room for creativity within the songs.

Don't Come Around Here No More, for example, displays Petty's willingness to innovate -- he even has a sitar and cello on this time.

Apparently Petty was so overcome by the music during the recording session that he slammed his hand against the wall. He broke several small bones and it is doubtful whether he'll play the guitar again.