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Album review: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye

It may not trouble the charts, but Hypnotic Eye is a stunning album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Cover image of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers's album Hypnotic Eye. Courtesy Warner Bros Records
Cover image of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers's album Hypnotic Eye. Courtesy Warner Bros Records

Hypnotic Eye

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

(Reprise)

Four stars

The music world has moved on from the days when Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers were among its leading lights. So what to do? The band could give up and become a walking jukebox – or stand and fight. They’ve decided to take a stand, based on the evidence of the stunning blues rock of Hypnotic Eye. The Heartbreakers are one of the best vintage rock bands still working and the album is the type of showcase they haven’t had for decades. Mike Campbell’s fluid guitar, Benmont Tench’s unparalleled keyboards, Ron Blair’s surprisingly melodic bass and Steve Ferrone’s drums – they are a veteran band who play with confidence and precision. Petty brings the songs, hook-laden and filler-free, speaking to the strivers and dreamers who have always made up his audience. The sound is classic, but never dated. Were this the summer of 1984, Faultlines, Red River, Forgotten Man and Sins of My Youth would be constants on the radio. It’s no fault of his that time and trends are different now. You’d be wise, however, not to forget Tom Petty.

* AP

Updated: August 4, 2014 04:00 AM

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