The Petty Archives

Sound Opinion
By Bartley Kives
Winnipeg Free Press -- Thursday, April 15, 1999

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers | Echo | Warner | ★★½
After flirting with fuzz-rock and dancing around with Kim Basinger's corpse in that bizarre video, Tom Petty must have lost a marble or two or 17 some time in the '90s. The squinty-eyed Bob Dylan fan that used to make good ol' honest rock 'n' roll sounds flatter than a week-old glass of ginger air on this bloodless new record, a tired rehash of previous Stones-meet-Neil Young guitar ditties and sentimental mushiness. It's tough, because Petty's the sort of guy you want to see rise from the post-grunge ashes like some sort of ragged, hoary Phoenix. But there's nothing you can do with lyrics like "She's a lonely girl, lost in the world" but cringe and hope that maybe, just maybe the next track will be better. He really is a heartbreaker.