The aim of Petty and his stalwart band was to revisit the classic rock of their 1976 debut. That seemed such a big ask that only a truly befuddled 63-year-old rock ’n’ roll star could think it possible. And yet these 11 tracks are a reminder of how great Petty and his Florida friends could be when they let it rip – all jangling guitars, close harmonies and great tunes. American exceptionalism in action.
Although they started this project three years ago, Hypnotic Eye shows no sign of studio patchwork nor rusty ageing limbs. The songs, loosely themed around an outsider concept, carry real impact, with Petty’s signature seething drawl and Mike Campbell’s meaty guitar breaks dominating the soundscape.
The band are as they once were, a powerful combination of freshness and familiarity, oozing menace and spirit on tracks such as Red River, All You Carry and Shadow People.