(Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers – “Echo”, 62′, Warner Bros, 1999)
#1 After the recording of the mega hit “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” in 1993 and the compilation which followed, was sure that Tom Petty’s bend “The Heartbreakers” would split. One year later, Petty appeared with solo-album “Wildflowers” and then everything was definitive. Or, at least, it seemed like that. Now, at the end of the first half of 1999, there is a new album of Tom Petty and his bend. Now, nothing seems to be definitive, any more, except one thing – Tom Petty is back on the stage, having the control over all. What that means? “Echo” is continuing “Wildflowers” according to many things. Mostly by atmosphere/arrangements. Petty is one of the rare vocalists, who can allow himself to sing stretched and hushed, but not to sound tasteless. At the same time there is his easily recognizable and I’ll dare to name it – light guitar. Like a summer dawn.
For what kind of echo I am talking about? Maybe, for already mentioned prolongation of “Wildflowers” but this is an easy answer. The thing that we meet here, ladies and gentlemen, is the echo of rock and pop-rock from the second half of the seventies, till the end of eighties. In deed, the first single (also promoted on the www.mp3. com) “Free Girl Now”, in many things reminds us of some hits of Tom Petty and “Heartbreakers” from the end of seventies. The difference is more in the production than in the approach. If we omit the fact that there are two decades between, which has resulted with strengthening of the bend and music expression, this definitely is echo of the quality music of the last twenty years.
The pleasant surprise is the number of the songs – there are 15, for more than one hour of listening. It seems that Petty and his bend wanted to compensate the missing. They succeed, when we face the fact that this kind of music was missing in the last few years.
My favorites are: “Counting on You”, “Swingin”, “Echo”, “Rhino Skin”, Won’t Last Long” …
”Put Down Your Things And Rest a While…” as Tom Petty sings in the title song of the album, talking about the sad echo, which surrounds us. Maybe the answer of the whole this mess at the end of the century is exactly this: slowness and short break. And sometimes, in the reminiscences of the past light moments. And of course, the bright look to the future. This album offers us that. You should only reach and take it. Warm recommendations.