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By Joseph H
December 11, 2004
If you like a CD (and I'll call it a CD since it was the 90's after all, lol), that goes from start to finish without having the inclination to skip a song, this is one of those CDs. Choose not to be intimidated by the "wildflower" references if you're not a pothead, because this masterpiece of the mid-90's rocks either way. The songs are quintessential Petty - witty, both deep and light-hearted, and downright classic rock released (1994) in the middle of the alternative scene. Besides the hits, check out "Time to Move On", "Only a Broken Heart", and "Crawling Back to You".
My first insight into this CD was when Tom played on Saturday Night Live and did "Honey Bee". Wow! I bought the CD shortly thereafter. Again, there are no clunkers on Wildflowers. It's one of the best works of the 90's, and who can forget the great line, "People come, people go, some grow young, some grow cold..."
To listen to some soundclips from Wildflowers or to purchase it click on: Wildflowers
FULL MOON FEVER
By Andrew Thill
August 23, 2001
Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty's first solo album away from his backup band, The Heartbreakers, is yet another gem in Petty's rock n' roll crown. Although the album is supposed to be Petty's and Petty's alone, numerous rock legends make appearances on the record; including George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. Even Heartbreakers Benmont Tench, Howie Epstein and Mike Campbell make an appearance on an album that is chock full of good ol' homestyle rock mixed with some soulful ballads. The album starts off on a stellar note, with perhaps one of Petty's most recognizable songs, "Free Fallin'", an ballad about lost love, that allows petty to showcase a surprisingly good voice. The song achieves near classic status with witty lyrics and an extremely catchy tune. The excellent tone continues with it's second track, 'I Won't Back Down', a song not as lyrically inspired as 'Free Fallin'' but with a catchy tune in itself. The next two songs, 'Love Is A Long Road' and 'A Face In The Crowd', don't come close to matching the quality of the opening tracks. They seem to be cookie-cutter Petty, and if you listen to the record more then once you'll probably skip both songs to get to 'Running Down A Dream', which is another instant Petty classic. The guitar driven music is awesome, and instantly recognizable. The lyrics are quite good, and the story of Petty aimlessly driving his car, "pickin' up whatever is mine" makes it a car radio classic. eel A Whole Lot Better', track six on the CD, is nothing remarkable. The song, originally written by Gene Clark in 1964, doesn't really detract or add to the record, its just mediocre. Track 7, 'Yer So Bad', has very god vocals, and some funny lyrics about someone's sister marrying a yuppie, using his money then marrying a singer, with Petty not able to decide which is worse. 'Depending On You', track 8, only deserves mention for it's chorus, which is skillfully performed. Other then that it's nothing special. 'The Apartment Son', is another highlight of the album. The music is pretty good, Petty's vocalization shines. The song is delivered in a strangely engrossing tone, that fits the catchy lyrics quite well. 'Alright For Now', track 10, is a strange departure for Petty. He completely abandons his normal musical style for a lullaby-style song that is actually quite good. The vocals, backed by some excellent soft guitar, are easily the best on the record. 'A Mind With A Heart Of Its Own', the second to last track, is quite unremarkable. I could only listen to it once before I started skipping over it to reach the excellent finale, 'Zombie Zoo'. A story of a once normal girl becoming a Goth creature of the night. The combination of Petty's vocals and some witty lyrics is able to create a funny, yet daunting atmosphere at the same time. The music on the track fits perfectly. It uses some well timed organ strikes to create a haunting sound to the track, yet still maintains has a perfect balance of forbidding and pop-rock appeal. 'Zombie Zoo' is a fitting way to close out one of Petty's most excellent albums. Overall, the strong spots on the album easily eclipse the weak spots, and it is definitely worth a buy.
To listen to some soundclips from FULL MOON FEVER or to purchase it click on: Full Moon Fever
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