The Petty Archives

Heartbroken Over New Material
By Seth P. Brahler
The Lycourier - September 12, 1996

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- Songs and Music from She's the One
★★ out of ★★★★

The soundtrack to the Ed Burns romantic comedy, She's the One, is the first full length album from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers since 1991's Into the Great Wide Open. Their five hear hiatus was filled with a successful tour behind a greatest hits album and Petty's mellow solo album (triple platinum-selling Wildflowers). I was glad to see the Heartbreakers reunited for their 20th year in the music industry.

The first five songs on the album continues in the great Heartbreaker's tradition: Rock and Roll with melodic backing vocals. Benmont Tench, organist, is creative as ever on the popular single "Walls (Circus)" as well as the piano solo on "Grew Up Too Fast." The guitar of Mike Campbell fuels a great bar song called "Zero from Outer Space," in which the quirky lyrics are classic Pettys (You think that you're above me/You think that you're so big/I saw you kick that dog/When the wind blew off your wig).

Unfortunately, the rest of the material has Tom Petty still thinking he's in a solo career. Songs such as "Angel Dream" and "Hope You Never" sound like out-takes from Wildflowers that Petty won't let his Heartbreakers give the rock edge the songs desperately need.

More disappointing is the amount of filler on this album. There are two instrumentals under a minute and a half, and lackluster alternate versions of both "Walls" and "Angel Dream."
Guest appearances by Lindsey Buckingham and Ringo Starr cannot save this album. While Wildflowers was a nice departure, the full potential of the Heartbreakers is not used this time around. Until Petty is out of his hippie acoustic mood, this album and possibly future material is only for diehard fans.