Tom Petty has described this disc -- his first studio outing in four years -- as something of a treatise on mortality, but rather than getting bogged down in downbeat musings about the ticking of his biological clock, Petty seems hell-bent on turning the affair into something of a celebration. Not that Highway Companion is some sort of Disney-esque exercise in accentuating the positive -- Petty is too smart a writer for that -- but there's something undeniably affirming in songs like the title track, which bears a sonic and psychic resemblance to "Running Down a Dream." A similar thread runs through "Saving Grace," a bluesy boogie number rife with references to a life spent on the road -- and realizations that it's been a life well spent. Blues touches abound on the disc, lending it more of a southern-fried feel than anything Petty's done in ages, particularly on low-slung riff-fests such as "Jack" and "Turn This Car Around." Highway Companion isn't all grits 'n' gravy, however. As befits a disc that reunites Petty with Traveling Wilburys partner Jeff Lynne, there's a hearty portion of harmony-heavy confectionary as well, highlighted by the bright and brassy "Big Weekend." Lynne and Petty never get carried away with studio frippery, however, and their no-nonsense approach -- strikingly reminiscent of the one behind 1989's Full Moon Fever -- fits both the songs and Petty's ragged-but-resilient frame of mind to a tee.
|Label:||Warner Bros / Wea|
Performance CreditsTom Petty Primary Artist,Bass,Guitar,Harmonica,Drums,Bass Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Keyboards,Electric Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals
Jeff Lynne Bass,Guitar,Autoharp,Bass Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Mike Campbell Guitar,Vibes
Technical CreditsJeff Lynne Producer,Audio Production
Tom Petty Composer,Producer,Art Direction,Audio Production
Mike Campbell Audio Production
Ryan Ulyate Engineer
Steve McGrath Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the best albums I've heard in many years.Thanks Tom Petty, ya still got it!!
Truly a great album. Thank the higher power that people like Tom Petty are still making valid music. Highway companion is a must for any Petty fan. It is clearly his best work since Wildflowers.
WOW, this album blew me away. Tom's 'Square one' ROX DUDE!!!!!! KEEP ROCKIN' TOM.
All 12 tracks are good, ALL 12! This album is awesome!