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  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
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  1. I think this is considered the weakest TPATH album. I think people dislike this more than Southern Accents. I could be wrong. But it's definitely their strangest all around record. 01---Jamming Me. It's a good song. Good riff, nice rhythm, I like the line "...let your tv bleed." The weakest bit is the references to Vanessa Redgrave and Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy. Leaving aside if it's a good idea or not to call someone out in a song like this, I wonder why Tom doesn't change those to more modern people, or some folks from ancient history. It's a shame this was left off the original Greatest Hits. 02----Runaway Trains. For all the talk of Jeff Lynne's production, whatever they did to this is terrible. There's a good song under all the synthetic production. I go back and forth on this one, I think with something like Wildflowers production and a bit shorter length, I'd enjoy this more. 03---The Damage You've Done. This is an all right rock song. The live version on the much circulated bootleg from South Carolina is a pretty good version. It's a slinky rock song, feels like something you'd hear at the corner bar. Again, I think a more grounded production would make this more enjoyable, this needs grit, Stan's drums should be punishing, but they sound a bit muted. Still, I like it. 04---It'll All Work Out. A good experiment. It's a sad song I have to be in the mood for, but I like it. Kind of like the sad version of Alright For Now. The lack of percussion aside from the tambourine (?) is an interesting approach. It suits the song; the outro is pretty, too. 05----My Life/Your World. Am I the only one who wants to hear more of that intro? I love the first thirty seconds of this one. That's just such a neat instrumental. Too bad they never worked it into the live set or the middle of a jam or something. I like the groove on this song. The opening lyrics are a bit too sad for me, though. I feel like this is another weird one, there's quite the distance between something like Listen to Her Heart and this. Once again, I think the 80s feel of the production inhibits the song. I like this one though, a weird grooving song. Benmont does some really nice playing that goes against the grain of the song, leading to yet another wonderfully tasteful solo by Mr. Campbell. 06---Think About Me. I really like this one. It's rollicking. Another really good bridge. Benmont's playing is subtle and well done. Much like the Damage You've Done, It feels like a good bar song. 07---All Mixed Up. Man! Another intro I really love. I could've listened to that for a good two minutes, would've been a neat song! Anyway, this is a very sweet song. Just sugary good. I like it, and I think it's a place where the 80s production works. I think, sitting here in the middle of this album, it inadvertently describes the record it resides on. I don't know what he's singing about with the line about "last picture show" but I like it. Same with the whoo-oohs at the end. They work quite nicely here. 08----A Self-Made Man. This reminds me of Spike mainly because of what Tom does with his voice and there seems to be some similarity musically. I like it, but as with much of this album, ti's not something I want to listen to very often. I guess this, much like some of the other songs has that solid midtempo groove. The verses are interesting and transition nicely into an interesting almost upbeat chorus all while the rhythm stays locked in. Nice solo, too. I like this one more than I thought. 09---Ain't Love Strange. Very good intro on this one. The barbwire line is good. Great bridge! This is a good song, feels likes a hit single that should've been. Such good playing by Benmont on the bridge. 10----How Many More Days. Another midtempo rock song. Maybe in a way, Tom was "getting this style out of his system." Going forward for a while, the songs would be either uptempo or a different version of the heavy groove song, like the majority of tracks on Wildflowers or She's the One. I really like what Benmont does at those notes from around 1:11 to 1:18, so sweet! And Mike's playing around 1:50, those riffs are great! I like the abrupt ending and Benmont's quick little flourish. 11---Let Me Up----I think it's a really good rock song and it's a shame it's never been played live. It feels to me, like the last gasp hurrah of the band before the changes in the 90s. It's both beaten down and defiant, with some really interesting playing during the chorus. A pretty good song they should premiere at a residency! Overall, and I realize I'm writing this with the benefit of hindsight but the record feels like a musical cul de sac, the band enjoying themselves ( I hope anyway) but with a sense of where do we go from here? Well, maybe Tom felt that way, who knows? Regardless, while Full Moon Fever was a new beginning, this does indeed feel like the end of an era. But really, I think that's knowing their history coloring my perception here. That said, it still holds true. The band wasn't the same after Full Moon Fever and never would be again. Do some people love this album? I think the songs work, to a degree, individually, but all together, I think the midtempo rock blurs a bit with the other songs; nothing really takes off the way Jamming Me does, except for Let Me Up. But they're still good songs. The production is its worst on Runaway Trains but overall isn't that great on this record. I haven't listened to this in years and it was better than I recalled but for some reason, just not something I want to hear very much. However, I do think it's better, song by song, than some of their other albums. For me, I'd probably condense it to an ep that I enjoy, as I do with most of TPATH's albums. It just occurred to me, but this whole album feels Nightwatchmanesque. It rocks but in a slightly askew way. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the album cover. It's an interesting idea and fits the music, the composite face, but at the same time, the garish colors and the finished face aren't exactly pleasant to look at; again, an interesting experiment but is it good? Kinda feels like the album to some degree. What does everyone else think? It really does feel like a forgotten album, though it is really interesting to listen to. cheers
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