The Petty Archives
  • 1995-01-11_New-Straits-Times

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Simple yet very Petty
Reviews by R.S. Murthi
New Straits Times - January 11, 1995

TOM PETTY -- Wildflowers (Warner Bros./62:51): The first thing that hits you about Petty's second solo album is its disarming directness. Despite some subtle orchestration (by Michael Kamen) and full-blown instrumentation, the music never sounds swamped.

In lesser hands, music as elementary as this would have been bland. But Petty is no average rocker, and his is a simplicity springing from a complex artristry.

There's nothing new about the themes Petty tackles in the songs, but his ability to capture emotion with words makes almost all the pieces enthralling.

Some of the songs tell sad stories while others deal with dark themes, like life on the edge. Most of them have a folk lilt, enhanced by instruments like harpsichord, harmonium and harmonica.

However, it's the chiming resonance of tunes such as Wildflowers, You Wreck Me, Cabin Down Below and To Find A Friend that has an intoxicating effect.

Wildflowers has its banal moments but its bittersweet touches leave a lasting impression.

Performance: ★★★ ½
Sound: ★★★★