The Petty Archives

Rexall Place, Edmonton | June 16, 2010 | ★★★★★
By Mike Ross
CANOE - June 17, 2010

EDMONTON - In a world of fakes, poseurs, pretenders, show-offs and grossly inflated concert ticket prices for all of the above, Tom Petty stands apart.

Well, four out of five ain't bad. The good seats to the big show at Rexall Wednesday night were $150 -- which is, to coin a term that mentally challenged people aren't using anymore, "retarded."

What a rip. He didn't even blow anything up. And where were the giant plasma TV screens embedded in the levitating drum riser? Where was the levitating drum riser? And while we're at it, where was the squad of break-dancing back-up singers whose lip-syncing was so perfect you'd swear it was real? Nowhere, man.

Bang for one's buck came entirely from the music. What a novelty.

Album Reviews: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | MOJO | [Reprise]
Review by Jill Cowan
The Daily Californian - Thursday, June 17, 2010

In a lot of ways, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers represent what's great about American rock 'n' roll. It's hard to pin down how, exactly, the band so timelessly evokes that "driving into the horizon" feeling, but Petty's unmistakable strumming and lyrics that are at once jaded and nostalgic are good places to start.

Unfortunately, their new album, Mojo, is missing some of whatever it is that makes the Heartbreakers' music the ultimate retort to anyone who hates on basic guitar-driven rock. No, I wouldn't go so far to say the ageless-sounding Petty has lost his mojo but the work is definitely hit-or-miss.

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.

Record reviews: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Review by Scott Mervis
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Thursday, June 17, 2010

Records are rated on a scale of one (awful) to four (classic) stars:
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 'Mojo' | (Reprise) | ★★★½
It's hard to define exactly what mojo is, but Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have it here on the band's 12th album and first in eight years.

The definitive Heartbreakers' sound has generally been their own twist on Dylan and the Byrds, but this is a different animal, inspired by Mr. Petty's renewed interest in vintage bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Albert King.

Music Review: Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Mojo
By Josh Hathaway
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Thursday, June 17, 2010

In the wonderful Peter Bogdonavich film Runnin' Down A Dream, Heartbreaker lead guitarist Mike Campbell revealed the secret formula at the heart of so much of the band's phenomenal success over their more than 30-year career: "Don't bore us, get to the chorus." Well, the times, they are a-changing. It's a brave new world for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and it must please Petty to no end that he and his mates have decided to broaden their horizons not by looking forward but by looking back. There's also something beautifully perverse in following up a four-hour documentary of your band with a 15-song serving of revisionist history. It took more than 30 years for The Heartbreakers to become the blues band they've always wanted to be... in some fashion.

Heartbreakers catch up with Petty's 'Mojo'
By Curtis Ross
The Tampa Tribune - June 17, 2010

Tom Petty's greatest albums of the past 20 years -- "Full Moon Fever," "Wildflowers" and the eponymous "Mudcrutch" -- haven't borne the Heartbreakers name alongside his. Sure, guitarist Mike Campbell is never far from his side, and it's still Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers when it's time to tour. But the most recent Heartbreakers efforts either have been slight ("She's the One"), muddled ("Echo") or more admirable for sentiment than great songs ("The Last DJ").

"Mojo" is the corrective -- a great Petty album that finds him reunited in the studio with the full Heartbreakers contingent.

This is by far the bluesiest we've ever heard the Heartbreakers, the lessons learned from the Elmore James and Slim Harpo covers the young Petty and Co. inevitably learned in their woodshedding days finally coming to the fore.

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.

Old-school recording gives new album its mojo
By Rob Williams
Winnipeg Free Press - June 19, 2010

A trip down memory lane and a new guitar helped Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers find their mojo.

After listening to 30 years worth of live recordings to assemble last year's Live Anthology box set, Petty and the group decided their new album, Mojo, should be an off-the-floor affair.

"It was a lot of work going through 30 years of live recordings and trying to find the definitive live version of each song. It got us tuned into the live band as opposed to the studio band, so we chose not to do a quote-unquote produced album. We played without headphones. We had little monitors on the floor that we kept quiet to prevent bleed. Tom had a little earpiece, but the rest of us just stood in the room side by side -- that's why it sounds the way it does," guitarist Mike Campbell says over the phone from Seattle.

"There are very few overdubs -- 95 per cent or more of the guitar solos are live during the take, and quite a few of the vocals were live vocals. Typically what you hear on Mojo is the band playing live."

Getting their Mojo on
By Rob Williams
Winnipeg Free Press - June 20, 2010

Old, new songs thrill their fans
With a batch of new songs surrounded by hits, you could say Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers delivered a Mojo sandwich to Winnipeggers Saturday.

Petty and his veteran Florida rock outfit have recorded so many hits over the years, they could have played nothing but classics and easily filled out a three-hour concert (at least).

Instead, the group divided their 110-minute show at the MTS Centre into three parts: hits, songs from their just released album Mojo and finally, more singles.

It was a risky strategy, since the line, "we've got a new album and we'd like to play some of it for you," at many shows is the cue for the crowd to head out for more beer, but Petty's fans are a devoted bunch, and most of the 10,000 people who filled the arena for his second appearance in the city in less than two years stuck around to hear the mini-Mojo set.