TPATHCover1 (1)Artist: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Album: Hypnotic Eye

Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal

Rating: 3.5

When Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first started out in the 70’s, pop and electronic styles were beginning to take over the airwaves. Their straight-forward, guitar focused music included them in the heartland rock movement (along with musicians such as Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp) that provided a viable alternative to the countless synthesizers that dominated the music industry.

Though the heartland genre enjoyed success during the 70’s and 80’s, it began to fade, and the stars are the same names as they were before, with their peaks undoubtedly behind them. Why, I’m not sure. The need for down to earth rock is as prevalent as ever, with most of the hits featuring rap about money and power and singers with autotune and looks instead of talent. But here the heartland movement remains, made up of only old stars making their last albums.

That’s what this album is: an old heartland rock band making one of their final albums. Nothing more, nothing less. With plenty of empty space leftover, an electric guitar bounces between a riff for the verses and a chord progression for the chorus as Petty sings about a girl that makes him feel high or the American Dream. Aside from that it’s got a bassist more than capable of throwing in an interesting fill, a drummer that knows when to get creative and when to fall back, a quiet piano and absolutely no computer effects.

It’s both old and old-school, outdated and nostalgic. The album’s ambitions are limited, and it’s result is the same. I give it a 3.5, because it’s entertaining.

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