TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS HYPNOTIC EYE TRACKLIST:
1. "American Dream Plan B"
2. "Fault Lines"
3. "Red River"
4. "Full Grown Boy"
5. "All You Carry"
6. "Power Drunk"
7. "Forgotten Man"
8. "Sins Of My Youth"
9. "U Get Me High"
10. "Burnt Out Town"
Tom Petty - vocals, rhythm guitar, production
Mike Campbell - lead guitar, production
Scott Thurston - rhythm guitar, harmonica
Benmont Tench - acoustic & electric piano, organ
Ron Blair - bass guitar
Steve Ferrone - drums, percussion
Ryan Ulyate - production
Above, you can stream Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 13th studio album, Hypnotic Eye, ahead of its July 29th release. It's 11 songs and 44 minutes of pure Tom Petty-style rock and roll that only he and The Heartbreakers can deliver.
With a music career that spans nearly 40 years, Tom Petty still has something to say, with his words and with his guitar. He comes out of the gate with a memorable guitar riff for "American Dream Plan B" It's a great radio-friendly song that carries swagger and attitude.
"Fault Lines" follows up with a ’50s rockabilly feel thanks to a smooth bass from Ron Blair and a distorted guitar with a psychedelic feel. We get our first listen on this album of Tom Petty opening up in his lyrics. He sings that he's got a few fault lines of his own, but then again, don't we all? Petty's openness is a lyrical trend that is present through the album, as we'll see.
"Red River" keeps the album's energy flowing with its scorching rock and hoodoo-influenced lyrics. It's got a two-part guitar break that is first dreamy and acoustic, then aggressive and electric. He sings of a troubled woman who is possibly possessed and offers to cure her. It's not your run-of-the-mill lyrics, but then again, this is a Tom Petty song.
The album is brought down to a jazzy atmosphere on "Full Grown Boy." It's our first taste of music from the album that wasn't released as a single, and it highlights Tom's voice, which sounds warm and clear. An upstroke guitar pattern is joined by piano that adds just the right amount of flare. A J.J. Cale sound can be heard in the guitar tone as well.
The next track, "All You Carry," kicks the album back into rock and roll with catchy riffs and a memorable chorus. Back and forth guitar exchanges followed by a blazing solo make this track an album highlight. Not letting the album settle too long on rock, "Power Drunk" is a slow grooving tune with a fuzzy guitar sound that hints at a ZZ Top influence. The lyrics stand out once again as he warns us of men who get drunk with power and its damaging consequences.
In Billboard, Petty said one of the album’s recurring themes is morality:
It’s about what’s missing — why is the ‘human’ missing from humanity? I think the level of caring about other people is disappearing. That’s a huge problem in the world right now — you can see these wealthy people who have made so much money that making more will not change an hour of their lives or their children’s — yet they’re consumed with the idea of making more. Once they do that long enough, that doesn’t turn them on any more. They want power, and a great deal of money buys power. Very few people know how to handle power and once they just become completely immoral, they’re dangerous people. This attitude is what, to me, wipes out the middle class.
The albums energy picks up on "Forgotten Man" with its acoustic playing and a fast, charging solo. Ron Blair and Steve Ferrone provide a nice backbone as Tom Petty once again shares honest lyrics in this song and the following "Sins Of My Youth," provides a summer-like vibe with a Latin influence mixed in. Perhaps his most honest lyric throughout the album, "I love you more than the sins of my youth," once again shows Petty baring his soul.
"U Get Me High" is another slow rocker with a positive message that Petty sings in regards to a person, "You get me high." An understated yet cool bassline flows with the dirty guitar sound that erupts during a loud solo. It's a song that is a nice prelude to "Burnt Out Town," which changes the pace of the album with its bluesy groove, sharp harmonica notes, and barroom keyboard playing.
The final tune, "Shadow People," is a relaxed number that includes more memorable Petty riffs. Halfway through, the song breaks down to a near whisper as we're left hearing a recurring bassline in the distance. Petty's smooth vocals match the dark alley vibe of the song.
Hypnotic Eye starts out as a lion, but ends as a lamb as we hear Tom Petty gently sing, "Waiting for the sun to be straight overhead, til we ain't got no shadow at all" accompanied with acoustic guitar. We are left with one final memorable lyric from one of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' arguably best albums to date.
You can pre-order Hypnotic Eye via iTunes and Amazon. A limited edition 180 gram 2-LP vinyl is also available through the official store. The band kicks off an extensive tour on August 3 for Hypnotic Eye, and you can get more information on that, as well as music and news, on the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Zumic artist page.