October 31, 2002

Petty Good

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s new album, The Last DJ, makes you miss the classic hits of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers more than ever. Oh, the days of “Free Falling,” “Last Dance with Mary Jane,” and “Learning to Fly,” where have they gone? If only he kept putting out music like that, our lives would be so much easier. But every good band has to change sometime, and unfortunately, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made the transition years ago.

The Last DJ is an easy-going, relaxing collection of songs that makes you want to swing from side to side and smoke a joint, and yet the lyrics are more bitter than ever. It both looks and sounds similar to his previous album, Wildflowers: so similar that I accidentally put in Wildflowers when trying to listen to The Last DJ. On the other hand, the albums are also fairly distinct from one another. The Last DJ reminisces heavily, and the majority of the tracks seem to make us want to return to “the good old days.” His song, “Dreamville,” is his way of showing his listeners exactly what those “good old days” were, and why they were so great.

Tom Petty is apparently growing irritated with the ever-increasing homogenization of pop music. In his song, “Joe,” he sings about Joe the CEO who recruits young boys and girls with good looking faces and great bodies to make music and says, “