|The first thing that hits you about Mojo is that the spirit of the Mudcrutch sessions has carried on with Tom Petty & Heartbreakers. This is the sound of a band playing together in a room - not a studio - facing each other, all singing and playing at the same time. The music is alive, with no overdubs or studio trickery. What you hear is what they created on the spot at that time.
As for the songs, Mojo showcases a wide variety of American music from rock 'n' roll to country and both electric and acoustic blues. And then there are the images in Petty's lyrics which slip in on the melodies and set up a home in your head: The barefoot girl in the high grass chewing on a stick of sugar cane, the run-in with the law that begins when a carload of buddies decide to party with the motel maids, and the hilariously audacious idea of opening an album with an electric blues rocker about Thomas Jefferson's love affair with Sally Hemings. Petty would probably chuck a rock at anyone who called him a poet, but he sure is a southern writer of humor and sensitivity.
Mojo has juice and guts but it also has some sweet balladry for the slow dancers and even a wacked-out reggae number that is unlike anything that Heartbreakers have done before. It's the kind of album nobody's supposed to be able to make anymore. It got here just in time.