The Petty Archives

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Mojo | ★★☆☆☆
Review by Michael Hann
The Guardian - June 18, 2010

In his 50s, Tom Petty seems to be living the Grumpy Old Man phase of his career. His last album with the Heartbreakers, 2002's The Last DJ, bitterly attacked the state of the music business. This record – with the songs recorded live in the studio, and the equipment used by the band all listed (no guitar made after 1965 here, folks) – would appear to be the "Listen, youngsters, this is how we used to do it" one. That impression is heightened by the fact that Mojo is, largely, tasteful blues rock, with Mike Campbell's guitar to the fore. There are sparks of life in the rollicking country rock of US 41 and the spiralling riff of First Flash of Freedom, but it's all very polite. And in Don't Pull Me Over – a plea to a police officer for clemency over marijuana possession, set to an Eric Claptonesque vision of reggae – Petty may have written the worst song ever.