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Just a few bars into song 1, "Room at the Top," and you know you're in the capable hands of a master songwriter. A mellow chorus wafts by, whispered in Petty's patented Byrdsian drawl, and the song seems to tick-tock to a stop. But storming over the top is a riff from guitarist Mike Campbell. Another chorus and you know there's a bridge creeping up. Petty, in a gesture that's both droll and dynamic, mutters "Hit it" to announce it. The proceedings slow again, then Campbell's gears start grinding again, and there's a grand crescendo that is, if you'll pardon the pun, heartbreakingly wicked. Then Petty murmurs a deep, resonate "No-oh" in a broken, brilliantly understated way that's rock & roll perfect! If you understand the alchemist genius that transmutes such humble metal into gold, you're ready to curl up with 14 songs of near-similar standing. Petty and the Heartbreakers have succeeded in making an album that's stunning in its simplicity yet as carefully ornate and wondrous as a stained-glass window. Indeed, renaissance might be an appropriate tag for the reborn Petty, except that he's never really gone away. Like that "Room at the Top" bridge, he's always been lurking around the corner, waiting to surprise you when the time is right. --Tom Lanham

uuid: F3739ACE-C09A-4A9B-B991-8219622BF078
upc: 0093624729426
tracklisting: Room at the Top
Counting on You
Free Girl Now
Lonesome Sundown
Accused of Love
Won't Last Long
Billy the Kid
I Don't Wanna Fight
This One's for Me
No More
About to Give Out
Rhino Skin
One More Day, One More Night
title: Echo
purchase date: 09-05-2005
published: 13-04-1999
price: $11.98
net Rating: 4
last lookup time: 137389456
genre: Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
fullTitle: Echo
currentValue: $0.93
created: 137389424
country: us
aspect: Audio CD
asin: B00000IFWE
artist: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers