'Mojo' is definitely workin' for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
By Jerry Shriver
USA Today - June 9, 2010
The veteran rocker's latest album is a bluesy blast of classic rock.
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mojo | ★★★ ½ GOT THEIR MAGIC WORKIN'
Given all the lyrical references to California's finest cash crop, it's remarkable that Petty and crew have delivered such a focused effort on their first album in eight years. Yet right from the opening harmonica riff on Jefferson Jericho Blues, the Petty/Mike Campbell/Benmont Tench core — together off and on now for more than 30 years — jumps into a classic-rock groove that's greased with the blues, and they ride it for more than an hour.
Pop & Hiss: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: L.A. or Fla.?
By Randy Lewis
The Los Angeles Times - June 10, 2010
During my recent interview with rocker Tom Petty for a profile that will appear in Friday's Calendar, I asked him about his decision in the 1970s to leave his home turf in Florida and relocate to Los Angeles in search of a record contract, when he could as easily have gone to New York.
"If I was going somewhere," he told me, "I'd rather come here. I could relate to this more than I could have related to New York. Why starve and freeze? I may as well go to California."
With 'Mojo,' Tom Petty happily sings the blues
By Edna Gundersen
USA Today - June 10, 2010
MALIBU, Calif. — Tom Petty's plunge into the blues left him ecstatic.
"We finally made a record worthy of the band, one that makes use of the musicianship," he says. "Every rehearsal for years started with blues. It's how we sound after hours. I thought, 'we should stay where we naturally play.' I'm more excited than I've been in a long time."
Tom Petty and Steve Miller: boomers with something to prove
By Jonathan Zwickel
The Seattle Times - Thursday, June 10, 2010
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steve Miller Band both have albums coming out next week. Petty plays the Gorge this weekend, Miller plays Chateau Ste. Michelle July 14.
A sincere and hearty thanks to the baby boomers for creating some of the best pop music of the modern era. As they march toward seniority, however, a quandary arises: Why do older artists so rarely make relevant music?
Let's consider boomer rockers Tom Petty, 59, and Steve Miller, 66. Both release albums next week (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Mojo," Steve Miller Band's "Bingo!") and play the Seattle area soon (Petty with two shows at the Gorge this weekend, Miller on July 14 at Chateau Ste. Michelle).
Based on their albums — both nods to their early years — it's apparent Petty has outlasted Miller.
Album: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Mojo)
Review by Andy Gill
The Belfast Telegraph - June 11, 2010
After years spent establishing their command of most genres of American rock and pop, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers finally get around to making their blues album – and it's one of their very best efforts, as ought to be the case when a band plugs into the potency of raw R'n'B spirit.
There's a steely confidence about the album right from the opening riff of "Jefferson Jericho Blues", whose unison guitar and harmonica groove rolls along with the Corvette power of a Chess Records classic, Petty musing about Thomas Jefferson's miscegenate affection for "the little maid out back". Then it's straight into the waltz-time single "First Flash of Freedom", whose oddly prog-rockish riff brings to mind The Allman Brothers Band on one of their jazz-infused workouts. It offers the first of a series of showcases for guitarist Mike Campbell, who demonstrates his extraordinary versatility across virtually any style you'd care to mention, from the stormtrooper heavy-metal stomp of "I Should Have Known It" to the amped-up country-blues of "U.S. 41" and the brilliant simulation of J J Cale's neat, fluid guitar licks for "Candy".
Tom Petty's got his 'Mojo' working
By Randy Lewis
The Los Angeles Times - June 11, 2010
The 59-year-old rocker's first album with the Heartbreakers since 2002 has him so pleased that he's taking the boys on tour too. But they won't reach L.A. until the fall.
Tom Petty casually rolled back the sliding glass door at his rustic beach house in Malibu and stepped out onto the deck for a clear look at the waves crashing on the sand a dozen yards away. Surveying the picture-perfect blue sky and sparkling water to match, the 59-year-old rocker took in the view surrounding him and couldn't help noticing two young women sunbathing topless in front of the house next to his.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Mojo | ★★★☆☆
By Kaya Burgess
London Times - June 12, 2010
In the eight years since his last offering, Petty has stayed at home in the heartland of Mid-American rock, but the Heartbreakers’ 12th album seems almost playful, albeit at a leisurely pace. The expertly languid tone of the bluesy guitars feels like an unhurried jam session between old friends, especially alongside the lolling pianos of The Trip to Pirate’s Cove. Yet it is the gritty solos of I Should Have Known It that provide the clearest glimpse of Petty’s American Girl-era mojo.
Review by Jon Caramanica
The New York Times - June 13, 2010
TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS | “Mojo” (Reprise)
Two years ago Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took an unexpectedly triumphant spin through the Super Bowl halftime show, a forceful reminder that this long-running roots-rock band, which can appear modest from a distance, still knew how to thrust.
But "Mojo," the band's first album in eight years, suggests it has forgotten the vigor of that moment. Here the group is in a relaxed mode. How relaxed? First off, enough that no one vetoed the idea of including a reggae song, "Don't Pull Me Over," on which Mr. Petty applies his nasal drone to pleading, "Don't pull me over/Mister policeman/What I've got to do won't hurt anyone," while the band mimics a sluggish Jamaican-bar-band vamp.
But that's the only stylistic stretch on this album, and it turns out that everywhere else casualness serves this band well. "U.S. 41" is a wistful, Guthrie-esque work song. "Lover's Touch" is a lazy, appealing blues number, and "Candy," which ambles aimlessly and essentially without topic, still sounds purposeful, especially with Mike Campbell's slick guitar work.
In the downtime since the last Heartbreakers album, Mr. Petty rustled together his first band, Mudcrutch (which shares two members with the Heartbreakers), to record an album, which was modest and ragged in the same way that many of the songs on "Mojo" are.
With 'Mojo,' Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers find a bluesy groove
By Chris Richards
The Washington Post - Sunday, June 13, 2010
On the phone from his Malibu home, Tom Petty has a way of deflecting questions that's half sphinx, half stoner. Maybe he doesn't want to answer you. Maybe there are no answers, man. Inquire about his highs, his lows, his in-betweens, and Petty sounds aloof, wistful, pensive -- but, like his music, remarkably consistent.
What was it like playing the Super Bowl?
"I don't know."
Who was your greatest mentor?
"I don't know."
Can you cite a high or low point in your career?
"Oh, I don't know."
But there are still plenty of things the 59-year-old does, in fact, know. He knows that he's quite pleased with "Mojo," the 12th studio album he has made with his band, the Heartbreakers. He also knows he doesn't like giving interviews about it. He knows he'd rather be watching Turner Classic Movies or walking in the soft sands of the Pacific coastline.