Design By Humans
Published On: Fri, Aug 8th, 2014

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye

hypnotic eyeTom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Hypnotic Eye
(Reprise Records)

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Tight, distorted guitar and equally as distorted vocals from Tom Petty atop hard snare shots move the flangy “American Dream Plan B” that opens Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ new Hypnotic Eye. “Fault Lines” follows with Ron Blair’s bass rolling us into a fast ’50s-sounding send-up, Mike Campbell’s rangy lead mixing perfectly with equally nasty-sounding Scott Thurston’s rhythm guitar.

As always, the songwriting and playing here are top-notch, with guitarist Campbell part of the production showcasing what this ultra-tight unit behind Petty’s perfect songwriting is all about.

“Full Grown Boy” gets away from the hard, straight rockin’ with a plucky mid-tempo waltz; there is very cool styling here, with Petty not sounding like himself very much at all. “All You Can Carry” is a perfect Benmont Tench organ-led chorus, commercial riff-tastic Buffalo Springfield sound-alike. “Power Drunk” is about as youthful as Petty has ever sounded, with a sly, laid back verse, funk of a chorus and instrumental bridge out of nowhere. “Sins of My Youth” floats with some nice Bossa nova-like rim shots from drummer Steve Ferrone and floaty electric piano from Tench (again Petty not sounding like Petty at all). “U Get Me High” is a snappy bass/power chord slinky Stone’s-like infectious rocker with the verses opening into great harmonies in the chorus.

The whole 11-song concoction ends with a solid, nasty, singable “Shadow People,” with Thurston’s harmonica making its presence known once again.

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ Hypnotic Eye is a pleasure to rock out to from beginning to end.

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Hypnotic Eye