(see also Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

"Wildflowers" (143/Warner Records; 1994)

Reviewed by Snidermann

I wish my wife could get past Tom Petty's vocals so she can appreciate the great music he made. But she can't ... and I get it. But now, as I listen to Petty's second solo album, the 1994 release "Wildflowers," it's easy for me to see just how great Tom Petty really was. And I want her to know it, too!

"Wildflowers" is simple, in-your-face rock'n'roll with no overdubs, no orchestra and no multiple vocals parts. It's just Tom Petty. It's rock'n'roll music the way he wanted to make it and how it was meant to be.

Another album produced by the legendary Rick Rubin (who has produced giants like The Beastie Boys, Neil Diamond, Johnny Cash, Slipknot, Metallica, Liknkin Park, AC/DC, Slayer ... and that's just to name a few), "Wildflowers" is stripped-down, easily accessible rock'n'roll. It sounds just like you were watching Petty play in a small town dive bar with a large cold one in front of you, the music not so loud that you can't hear the person beside you but loud enough for you to really get into its groove.

There are fifteen tracks on this recording and they are all full of life, piss and vinegar, and the good ol' US of A.

Tom Petty was the folk singer of this day and age: The Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkel and Bob Dylan of the late 20th century. Just making music the way he wanted to, having fun and hanging out with his friends, drinking and smoking and playing music the way he wanted. He will forever be missed.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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