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Responses To Hypnotic Eye

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This album has held up. Going from frequent listens to on and off per the mood, it's such a great album.

 

The song flow if fabulous and I've found myself enjoying Burnt Out Town sometimes as well.

 

While it's a friggin' shame they played so little from this album in concert, that they released such a powerhouse, in my opinion, their best work right behind Full Moon Fever, at this point in their career is amazing and does have me hoping for other high quality releases from them; be it TPATH and/or Mudcrutch.

 

I can appreciate the stylistic changes across The Last Dj and Mojo, despite the former being somewhat weak overall, and the latter  still not listened to all the way through to have an opinion.

 

Hypnotic Eye seems to be a healthy change from those two records, particularly Mojo; not because the band was dissatisfied with it, but rather Tom's desire to go in a new direction. Which I'm damn glad they did.

 

Is there another track by them in recent memory that opens with the exuberance of Fault Lines? That swings like that, all instruments coming in together and going in a groovy, fun, upbeat direction? That instrumental break is amazing. 

 

"I feel like a four -letter word" is an amazing lyric. 

 

I suppose I still would've preferred Shadow People to explode, to kick up the tempo and bring the song to a shuddering climax, before Tom's optimistic coda but it's still an enjoyable song when I'm in the mood for it.

 

Speaking of, I think it's great that Tom ended the album with that note of optimism, the perfect ending to the record.

 

cheers

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Most underrated: Full Grown Boy. A slight genius of a song, it turned out. Very unlike TP moreover, which is always exciting when he pulls it off. (Or Fault Lines if we speak of the band's own understanding of it and how they hardly gave it a chance live). 

 

 

 

 This one really grew on me. The first couple listens it sounded so flat and dull and now I think it's quite good! It sounds refreshingly different from other songs of theirs. It's so light and musically soothing at the same time and just the perfect length, too.

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America Dream Plan B - I'm half lit, I can't dance for s**t, but I see what I want I go after it. And my girls all right, treats me nice, ain't nothing but a woman puts out that light.'' Anthem song, came across well on Jimmy Kimmel Live and live on the road. Solid song.

 

Fault Lines: A 6/10 live performance of this song early in the tour seems to have spooked TP and the live footage has 'disappeared' from You Tube. I did manage to see the footage of this before it disappeared. Sure, by TPHB high standards the live performance of this song was below par, but by no means terrible...a bit of a collectors item. Tom had problems with the reverb settings of his guitar for this number, he tried on numerous ocasions to ';fix' the issue by twiddling on speaker knobs to no successful avail. At the end of the song, Mike put his arm over Tom's shoulder and whispered something into Tom's ear seemingly by way of consolution/encouragement. The net effect seems to be that the song has been ditched from ever being played live again, which is a shame. A strong song nontheless on the album. 

 

Red River: One of the songs that I loved from first listen on the album. I loved the examination of different spiritual belief systems in the song (my interpretation of what the song is all about) and how that at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what 'system' of belief you adhere to, in order to make a proper human connection from one human being to another human being you have to ''look down into your soul'' and be open minded and relate to each other with an open mind in order to grow in understanding...we might not share the same beliefs but we share the same experience of trying to find our way and make sense of our lives and the world we live in in our ''human skin''. A rabbits foot, or a voodoo stick won't bring enlightment without opening our hearts to others on a human face to face level and hearing what eachother has to say. 

 

Full Grown Boy - probably the weakest song on the album in relative terms. It's not that it's bad, just that it's not that good in comparative terms. 

 

Wow, 'All You Can Carry' is the epitome of a grower. It didn't blow me out of the water over the first few listens, but have been listening to it again recently and have been really impressed. Would work great played live too...yet another to add to the live wish list, there is so much they could do with this live so many interesting avenues to explore with this one. Take what you can, all you can carry, take what you can and leave the past behind. No one can say I left without a fight.  :) 

 

Power Drunk was another that didn't resonate that much when I bought the album at first. It's like Joe from Last DJ, who needs to sober up to save his soul.

 

Forgotten Man: didn't really do it for me until I heard it live where it immediately turned into an anthem with attitude that channelled echos of Buddy Holly. This was played every night at the shows I was at last tour and it was one of those that was really elevated when given the live treatment. 

 

Sins Of My Youth: Visions of tumbleweed driving along a lonely Route 66 road in the driving rain with windscreen wipers just about keeping visibility. This song has hidden depths. 

 

You Get Me High: One of the stand out instant likable songs after one listen. I was delighted to see Ron rock out that phat bass line on Jimmy Kimmell Live. One of the real look forward to songs for me on the live tour last year too.

 

Burnt Out Town: A real mini movie type song with perceptive lyrics and a human experience that is relatable to....similiar to a Blue Sunday mind picture type vibe from Last DJ....ashes on main street street, mayor cooking the books....here I am stealing gas with a garden hose. Truth indecent when exposed...A very 'real' picture...........

 

Shadow People: Words can not do justice to how much I rate and love this song. Easily one of the top five songs ever written by Tom Petty. Perceptive social commentry without the aura of preaching...accessible...has a real feel of driving down an LA highway with the sun beaming down and different characters on the road....the shadow people dealing drugs or politicians dealing social engineering alongside the decent people trying to do their best, make a living...get by as best they can, some hoping for better, some fearing the worst, some just trying to hustle as best they can to make ends meet without having the time to think of the bigger picture, a soldier or law enforcement officer following orders but not necessarily following their heart. So many layers in this song. LOVE it... very evocative, very real. Hearing this live last tour was the highlight every night....really stood out...Mike letting loose on the Flying V solos....Best song on the album, one of the best TPHB songs ever written. (Yeah, I kind of like this one :) 

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This is a great album, I think it's their best, right behind Full Moon Fever. A great run of songs, the best opening trio on any album of his, a variety of moods and styles that all flow together well. On top of it, you've got songs like Fault Lines, Red River, Shadow People and Full Grown Boy which sound unique for the band.

It's been over a year since it's been released and it still holds up. 

cheers

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I think it's clear the band is more polished than ever.  Considering they are all in their 60s it's pretty awesome that their still a band.

They could play anything but they play what they want and I read where Tom and Mike are enjoying the Mudcrutch gig more than the last Heartbreakers tour.

I feel Hypnotic Eye is one of their best albums for sure. U get me high and shadow people are my favorites but the whole album is great. I usually play Mojo and Hypnotic eye back to back.

Only a few bands ever have a catalog  as extensive as them. Add in the Mudcrutch and you have a heaping helping of music.

 

 

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On July 31, 2014 at 10:16 AM, Shelter said:

Off target stylewise, for this specific album. Something to the same effect could be said about Power Drunk, I suppose.

 Power Drunk grew on me; over time I appreciated and came to really like the heavier part of the song, the chords/riff at 2:26 and at the end of the song. Very powerful and make a good contrast with the rest of it; there's more going on musically than it seems. The first few listens it felt a bit flat but now I think it's pretty good.

cheers

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On August 5, 2014 at 8:28 AM, Shelter said:

Not only wasn’t Hypnotic Eye quite the straight through rock album or quite the Heartbreakers’ 70s vibe album it was said to be.

   Revisiting this topic, I think it's actually Tom's most hard-rocking album, largely from the experience of making Mojo. There's a heaviness that isn't present on perhaps their other harder rocking record, Damn the Torpedoes.

cheers

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^ Some old stuff you found there, to falsify or verify, I´m not quite sure.. :)  Either way, taken out of context like that, it may be really hard for anyone who wasn´t around to grasp what was really discussed back then, though. (I was around and I hardly remember, but if I´m not mistaken, there was talk about the difference between hype and reality, and various post session production aspects that possibly downplayed the band - thus, the keyword in above quote was "straight-through" rather than "rock".)  

More over, from those quotes it doesn´t seem like I found HE that energic or even that good, which obviously I did. And still do. Certainly the presence of said heaviness, is plain to see and very enjoyable. Just like I often times said when the live shows been discussed, the latter era TP&TH seems more tight and heavy than ever before, and HE really benefits from that too. 

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1 hour ago, Shelter said:

Either way, taken out of context like that, it may be really hard for anyone who wasn´t around to grasp what was really discussed back then, though.

 Hmm. I figure anyone who'd read this would simply think I'm addressing specific comments and not your opinion of the album as a whole but I get your point. 

cheers

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 Hypnotic Eye was so refreshing after years of primarily mid-tempo, acoustic, blues-inspired songs, and one not fully realized concept album. 

Not only did they release a primarily rocking album, but for the first time there's a heaviness to the music which is great. 

I took early hype about returning to their 70s roots as being exactly what they delivered, not an album trying to recreate the band that did Damn the Torpedoes, but a record primarily focused on the r-n-r. In addition to that, there's Full Grown Boy, which is a unique track for them; almost jazzy without using jazz cliches.

I hope they push forward into more experimental territory, though I think I've accepted that most likely this will be their peak for me. Of course, a lot of Mudcrutch 2 is pretty good, though not to this level.

cheers

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I still don't like it all that much.

19 hours ago, MaryJanes2ndLastDance said:

 Hypnotic Eye was so refreshing after years of primarily mid-tempo, acoustic, blues-inspired songs, and one not fully realized concept album. 

Funny, I would say HE is much more blues-inspired than the one true mid-tempo, acoustic album of the last decade, which is Highway Companion. And apart from "American Dream, Plan B" and "Fault Lines", I heard nothing refreshing back then on HE. Most of the stuff was pretty... backwards. Which is also why I would not classify the album as experimental. They're "just" dabbling in older and ever older musical styles. Well, one man's coffee... :D

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^ The trick is to realize that backwards, for all intents and purposes, is really the true forward in this case! :D 

But, yeah... interesting reaction there. Experimental is not a word I would likely use in a TP context either. Sure, everything is in relation to something else - and sure, it is unusual for TP to let the freak flag fly to reggae or jazzy rhytms. But generally, I see a rather traditional, old-school aura surrounding most of  TP. Deeply personal in touch and sometimes a little to the side of said main street perhaps. But TP to me is a huge traditionalist in terms of heritage, he knows his legacy, and he´s so good at that and yet at keeping it fresh, interesting and personal - up to date one migh say. In fact, I think that is the main reason that I love what he does. He´s one of the few traditionalists that has something new to offer still. There are variations in tempo and temper, and I love it when he tries out a little weird in melody, or phrasing or when the "TP normal" gets bent just a little - like it has been from time to time, all the way from Luna to Looking for Daddy - but experimental... nah, not really. And certainly not on such, in various ways rootsy offering as HE. Whether you like it not is another matter, of course. But then again, who am I to say what´s experimental, I´m a fan of Einsturzende Neubauten, so, I take it maybe my ears got hurt from some more than audible experimentation. It´s just words anyway, and what´s words?

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7 hours ago, TwoGunslingers said:

I still don't like it all that much.

Funny, I would say HE is much more blues-inspired than the one true mid-tempo, acoustic album of the last decade, which is Highway Companion. And apart from "American Dream, Plan B" and "Fault Lines", I heard nothing refreshing back then on HE. Most of the stuff was pretty... backwards. Which is also why I would not classify the album as experimental. They're "just" dabbling in older and ever older musical styles. Well, one man's coffee... :D

    I don't view album as experimental, only Full Grown Boy which felt completely different from anything else they've done. And overall, when I discuss them being experimental it's within their own context.

 DCAHNM, It Ain't Nothin' To Me, Lookin' for Daddy, It's Rainin' Again, Trip to  Pirates Cove, not that any of these, save maybe the first three would even qualify as experimental relative to other bands/musicians but for TPATH they're doing something different. Same with Full Grown Boy which feels jazzy but it's not quite jazz, there's a lightness to the music that feels different from other songs they've recorded.

    The album's refreshing to me, since it has more of an edge than previous releases consisting of primarily mid-tempo songs and ballads. With some exceptions, both Echo and The Last Dj are not rollicking affairs. To me, Hypnotic Eye is Tom deciding to rock again in ways they  haven't since the first three records. While to you that may be backwards, for me, it wasn't an attempt to recreate what they had done, but rather filter it through years of experience while riding the heavier wave of Mojo. 

 I like TPATH when they get heavy, it's largely unexplored territory for the band. I also think this album has an excellent flow, nicely balancing between uptempo and rocking songs and more contemplative tunes.

  As you said, one man's coffee...in this case Hypnotic Eye is a double shot of Espresso in a large black coffee to go as you hit the open road.

cheers

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5 hours ago, Shelter said:

^ The trick is to realize that backwards, for all intents and purposes, is really the true forward in this case! :D 

 and sure, it is unusual for TP to let the freak flag fly to reggae or jazzy rhytms. But generally, I see a rather traditional, old-school aura surrounding most of  TP. Deeply personal in touch and sometimes a little to the side of said main street perhaps. But TP to me is a huge traditionalist in terms of heritage, he knows his legacy, and he´s so good at that and yet at keeping it fresh, interesting and personal - up to date one migh say. In fact, I think that is the main reason that I love what he does. He´s one of the few traditionalists that has something new to offer still. There are variations in tempo and temper, and I love it when he tries out a little weird in melody, or phrasing or when the "TP normal" gets bent just a little - like it has been from time to time, all the way from Luna to Looking for Daddy

    I'd like them to move forward with more songs like Lookin' For Daddy, it's refreshingly different. Bring on TPATH's Sgt. Pepper's. 

 What sets TPATH aside from other 70s acts like Bob Seger or the Eagles that I don't care for is something a bit off kilter threaded through the traditionalism.

To digress for a moment, that "heritage" you speak of is most evident in the multitude of covers they play and on the radio show, of course. But if all TPATH did was to regurgitate what they grew up listening to I doubt this forum would exist. 

Look at Don't Do Me Like That. There's the double time section. I think other groups would've just threw in a standard solo, instead there's this brief uptempo moment that helps make the song so good; heck, it could be the reason it's such a good song, offering a good contrast with the rest of the tune. 

In my opinion, or when I most enjoy TPATH is when they're able to make a delicious stew out of their influences without settling for the easy cliches. Sure, sometimes they do embrace cliche, and sometimes Tom's lyrics can seem a bit corny, but somehow it all works. 

On Hypnotic Eye everything works and even the weakest track, Burnt Out Town is still enjoyable and an example of a good track list, fitting just perfectly between the powerful U Get Me High and the groove of Shadow People. 

Not only is this record lighter on the ballads than previous efforts, but each song on Hypnotic Eye has its own distinct sound and has more of a harder edge, as much as they've ever gone in that direction; not only does Mojo have some great tunes but also helped the band get to where they were for this record, rocking without retreading on a record that flows smoothly from first track to last and back again.

cheers

 

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7 hours ago, TwoGunslingers said:

I still don't like it all that much.

Understood.

It's too bad so little of this record was performed live and as such, nothing was really expanded upon save Shadow People. Your favorite is Into The Great Wide Open, right? That was back when American Girl didn't finish every show and they played quite a bit from the new record. Hope you were able to see that tour.

cheers

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