The Petty Archives

Tom Petty | Echo | (Warner Bros.) | 8/10
By Kate Silver
Minnesota Daily - July 9, 1999

Tom Petty is one of those rare musicians who is eternally hip. Always irreverent, he's the kind of man that will wear a black Armani suit with Converse sneakers, never forgoing his originality. No matter what the current trend is in music, he'll always come through with songs containing steady heartbeat-rhythms and the bittersweet harmonies that have become his trademark.

His latest EP, Echo, which he co-produced, features longtime backing-band The Heartbreakers, and is classic Petty: 15 tunes about love won and lost. Lyrically, Petty has the knack for both playing the advocate ("I Don't Wanna Fight") and addressing the troubled youngster with his seasoned fatherly advice ("Free Girl Now").

Echo is such a low-key record that it takes a few listens before you're really clued into his subtle genius. But when it comes, you suddenly feel as though you've been initiated into some secret club. His songwriting is straightforward and honest. Echo is comfort music in its purest form.