Tom Petty - Highway CompanionTeaming up with Heartbreakers cohort Mike Campbell and Traveling Wilburys cohort Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty is back in the solo album business with a moody, atmospheric, unpredictable album that I’m finding grows on me more and more with each listen. Built loosely around a theme of traveling and means of transportation, Highway Companion‘s tunes range from catchy rock that sticks in your head and doesn’t leave, to slower numbers drenched in atmosphere. Petty’s ability to craft a song, combined with Lynne’s ability to find each song’s depths, are potent reminder that there was a reason Full Moon Fever was a huge hit some 16 years ago.

The standouts include “Flirting With Time”, an upbeat rocker whose chorus defies any attempt to resist singing along, the mezmerizing “Golden Rose”, the spare beauty of “Night Driver”, though really, while I’m just listing my favorites that I find myself re-listening to again and again, I have a harder time thinking of a song that rating: 4 out of 4doesn’t come up to snuff. The album’s that good, with consistently sharp songwriting from Petty and crystal clear (and yet very warm) production. Fans of Petty’s laid-back, country-flavored solo work as well as his edgier, bluesy material with the Heartbreakers won’t be disappointed at all. Highway Companion really is the epitome of the album with something for everyone, and gets some of the highest recommendations I’ve given to an album released this year.

Order this CD

  1. Saving Grace (3:47)
  2. Square One (3:24)
  3. Flirting With Time (3:13)
  4. Down South (3:25)
  5. Jack (2:28)
  6. Turn This Car Around (3:58)
  7. Big Weekend (3:15)
  8. Night Driver (4:26)
  9. Damaged By Love (3:22)
  10. This Old Town (4:15)
  11. Ankle Deep (3:22)
  12. The Golden Rose (4:42)

Released by: American
Release date: 2006
Total running time: 43:37