Release Date: Jul 25, 2006
Record label: American
Tom Petty's iconic status in America, where he is viewed as a bridge between Bob Dylan and the Byrds, has never been reflected in Britain and, sadly, now never will be. He has announced his retirement from tours and interviews. However, if the former Heartbreaker's third solo album proves to be his last, he has delivered one of rock's most eloquent goodbyes.
Tom Petty's concept for his third solo album is laid bare in its very title: it's called Highway Companion, which is a tip-off that this record was made with the road in mind. As it kicks off with the chugging Jimmy Reed-via-ZZ Top riff on "Saving Grace," the album does indeed seem to be ideal music for road trips, but Petty changes gears pretty quickly, down-shifting to the bittersweet acoustic "Square One. " Although the album ramps back up with the '60s-styled pop of "Flirting with Time" and the swampy, Dylan-esque "Down South," the quick move to the ruminative is a good indication that for as good as Highway Companion can sound on the road, Petty looks inward on this album just as frequently as he looks outward.