The Petty Archives

CD Spotlight: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Mojo
By Jon M. Gilbertson
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel - June 17, 2010

Although the average (or above-average) Tom Petty fan might not think of him as a backwoods kind of guy, his Florida background and Southern-rock leanings hardly overrule a move in that direction, which is what "Mojo" is.

It's also his first album with his crack band, the Heartbreakers, in roughly eight years, although they toured together regularly. Evidently, Petty and the Heartbreakers have attempted to keep hold of a loose onstage vibe by cutting the music live in the studio, eschewing overdubs and production luster.

Because of that recording technique, and because everyone involved is exceptionally comfortable with everyone else, "Mojo" sounds almost as laid-back as a jam on the front porch of a swamp shack.

Whether stretching country twang like a rubber band on "No Reason to Cry," riding a genteel Caribbean rhythm on "Don't Pull Me Over" or sailing a Led Zep groove on "I Should Have Known It," Petty and the Heartbreakers reclaim enough of their mojo to ensnare, if not necessarily enthrall, average and above-average fans alike.