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4.5 out of 5 stars180
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 28 July 2014
Hypnotic Eye is a brilliant album and deserves 5 stars without doubt. It's a tremendous collection of tracks by a band still at the height of its powers.

Tom Petty fans would love this album and appreciate the work of a man who has been producing great music for 38 years.

Anyone new to Tom Petty should check this out and be amazed at the quality. Who else is producing rock music of this standard?
From the opening bars of "American Dream Plan B" to the closing acoustic guitar of "Shadow People" this album is a treat to the ears.

Looking forward to a UK/European tour in 2015.
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on 3 August 2014
every tom petty album in the past 20 years has been touted as his best since damn the torpedoes
mojo came close but it was too bluesy, this is more like it most of the songs have some bite to them
forgotten man even steals the famous American Girl opening riff
a few are a bit weak to be honest but these still have good lyrics
anti Bush and pro Obama is too obvious for me, even if they are not named
I'm glad that tom is still promoting Blu-ray audio, more modern artists should produce surround sound albums
I own every legitimate album and this is definitely one of the best he has produced
tom please lose that beard!
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on 16 August 2014
I think this is a really cool album with plenty of good rocking tracks, a couple of soft ballads and even a little bit of blues
thrown in for good measure. TP is at his best when he is rocking, and this album really does rock. The Heartbreakers
deliver their usual excellent backing - everyone of them deserves praise for their part in this album.

Forgotten Man receives what little airplay the album receives (thank you Bob Harris and Huey Morgan) and it is a very good
track, although my personal favourites are Fault Lines, American Dream Plan B.

A must have for all TP fans and absolutely worth a 5 star rating.
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on 29 July 2014
Tom Petty didn't need to do this. He and his group, The Heartbreakers, have so many hits in the can they didn't need to create anything new and be comfortable for the rest of their lives. But it's artists just like Petty who get that itch and it needs to be scratched, and with their 13th studio album (and their first since 2010's "Mojo,") Petty is following today's trends and looking back at his very first two albums, realizing they were great and returned to the style they know best - straightforward rock and roll.

Younger and hungrier musicians would approach the making of an album with low-fidelity, analog recording and other tricks best reserved for the amateur or the foolish, with the end result being longshots that may ultimately go nowhere. Petty took an old formula that was right there on the shelf and re-created his own version of lightning. This album took two years to make, and the perfection, sloppy as it sounds (as if on purpose), is present.

Here's my 30-second from the gut review of each song - 11 tracks at just over 44 minutes:

1. American Dream Plan B - as this was released as a CD single in June 2014 with a $2.00 discount coupon towards the album itself, Petty is still shaking the tree and telling the music industry they still stink. "My success is anybody’s guess, but like a fool, I’m bettin’ on happiness" are the truest words on this album. A great opener.

2. Fault Lines - introspective lyrics pepper this Petty of 2014, and he's got enough guilt of his own thank you very much. Great guitar work by Mike Campbell on lead guitar and Scott Thurston take us to the subtle vibrations under the floorboards. It's a little gritty and unfinished, and it's great. Which takes us right into

3. Red River - traveling and moving, she's dodging karma as much as possible and as crafty as she can, but you just can't outrun your fate. Tom wants you to meet him, and he has a solution. More wonderful guitar work by Petty and Campbell.

4. Full Grown Boy - an almost jazzy down-tempo relaxing number, and Petty's telling you about growth, and stretching out, and it's not such a bad thing to make time for yourself and contemplate the world. Nice bit of music here.

5. All You Can Carry - a good old fashioned jam to wash out the taste of the previous slow jam. Sometimes you've got to be ready to go when the disaster strikes, even though it's the kind that doesn't leave a mark on the street.

6. Power Drunk - is this about former President George Bush? Seems like it, because he sings about the man who left so much damage behind because he was on a power trip, and now the "good man" has to clean up the mess left behind. Interesting song.

7. Forgotten Man - another song released early in July 2014. It has an old-fashioned vibe to it, and it's stripped back from all of the wild sounds of previous albums. Guilt still reigns supreme though, but the guitar solo gives an authority to Petty's words. I liked it!

8. Sins Of My Youth - another slow burner, and definitely designed to make the listener hear all the confessions of Petty's lyrics. "I love you more than the sins of my youth," he says, and truer words could never be spoken.

9. U Get Me High - using LOL-type texting to serve as modern, he lets go a bit here and swings out as he once again puts his heart on his sleeve. More rocking from the lads, and it's polished and plays as Petty wants it to be - fun and jamming.

10. Burnt Out Town - a bluesy number, and is a cool jam with hot nights, dirty looks, and a bar band vibe page torn right out of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" book. It still works for me, though, because Petty puts his own spin on it.

11. Shadow People - move over Don Henley's "A Month of Sundays," here's the new old man "get off my porch" song for the new Millennium. This final song on the album is slow, sexy, and the lyrics burn hot with an older man's perspective, from gun rights to Judgment Day. The song is a definite departure however, and is a real radical statement. What a way to end an album, with a real viewpoint about today's politics, and where we are, in "Shadowland," not here, and not there.

12. Playin' Dumb (Vinyl, digital and Blu-Ray bonus track) - I'm glad Petty did NOT include this on this album. It's a serious criticism against the Catholic Church to be sure (he was raised Baptist). He really let's the church have it - he sings to light a candle for "every confession that wasn't on the level, for every man of God that lives with hidden devils..." Tough stuff, and he has his opinions, but wow... Petty has even said in interviews he didn't know where to "place" the song within the framework. I'm so glad he omitted this.

After taking the time to listen, as Petty is almost 15 years older than me, and I understand where his ideas and inspirations are coming from. I wanted to give this album 5 stars. Is this his best album to date? No it isn't, and it's flawed, but that's okay, so I'm giving the album 4 stars.

His attempt to go back to his roots are admirable, but his seasoning and his experience overshadow his 1979 self. He was angry and hungry then, and had major problems with his first record label when he debuted, but now he's more relaxed, and more introspective, which is fine. It translates well here. I just think he missed the mark by that much, though.

I still love his music, but he is the Tom Petty of now, and it shows.

(thanks for reading my review - please leave a vote if you liked it or not, and please also comment if you'd like! Also, please check out my other reviews right here on Amazon!)
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on 4 October 2014
One thing that you can be sure of is that the quality control dept at Petty HQ hasn't gone to sleep.
I saw them on their first UK tour when they blew Nils Lofgren off stage as support, loved them ever since.
Recently I decided to catch up on the albums I'd missed. They only had Hypnotic Eye in stock in the local cd shop so I bought it on a whim, it looked a little odd, the cover is obtuse for a Petty/Heartbreakers album. I then bought four more off Amazon, Wildflowers, Full Moon, Torpedoes. Listening to them all in my new van I have to admit I keep returning to this one, it's a masterclass on so many levels.
It's a grower and as we know they always turn out to be the best ones in the long duds, each song has a solid core and those trademark hooks and one thing that's not obvious in previous releases, a weighty depth.
Power Drunk and Shadow People stand out as welcome comments on the more negative aspects of life on earth, particularly in America, they're balanced by U Get Me High and Fault fact these four sum up the whole album, it has a perfect balance that makes it easy to repeat listen, each song seems to complement the one before. It hasn't been off my player for two weeks now..
As with all Petty and the band's work the song construction seems deceptively simple at first, after all it is rock, but within that palette there's always something new to hear on every listen. The band, and what a band they are, subtly make the whole sound complete and rock solid.
And then there's Mike Cambell's guitar work. What can you say..Underrated? Of course..this guy always lays down all the right notes in the right order, as Frank Zappa used to say..with such assurance and accuracy and with that thing he has of leaving us wanting more, (having said that we're treated to a fierce, extra long solo on one of the tracks, I won't say which...)
I'm still amazed at how Tom can write such perfect songs every time, as others have said, his success rate is beyond par.

I could go on and on, repeating what everyone else has said, but I won't..just buy this and keep listening to it, I absolutely guarantee you won't be disappointed.
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on 18 October 2014
First of all, the 2 vinyl version of this album is top notch sound quality a treat for the ears. Also it has the bonus track of Burnt Out Town which is actually rather good. The album itself has been described as a return to TP's 'punky' roots (eg Damn The Torpedoes), this worried me at first because I was never a fan of 70s Tom Petty and have much preferred the more mature sounding West Coast Rock artist of the 80s and 90s. However I needn't have worried because this has much more in common with 1994s 'Wildflowers' (one of my favourite TP albums) than 1970s TP. There is a mixture of blues, blues rock and even jazz tinged moments (eg Sins of My Youth, Full Grown Boy). All the tracks are worth a listen but for me stand outs are the melodic Red River, the heavy blues of Power Drunk and Shadow People and the jazz tinged Full Grown Boy. First few listens of this album might lead one to think there's nothing here that you haven't heard before, but stick with it and it's charm and personality eventually shines through. My score: 88%.
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on 28 July 2014
I read somewhere that this was a return to Tom Petty's roots and what is regarded as his tour de force 'Damn TheTorpedoes' - it's not and that's not being critical. Sure in amongst these eleven songs there's early Petty but there's also the sound of his later career. It's not a return to form Petty's never been out of form whatever that means. This record is jammed full of great TP with Mike Campbell and the band holding it all together. It's more commercial than Mojo but as a 63 years old TP is still making interesting and relevant music. Only one small gripe it's only 44 minutes long it's over too soon.
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on 29 July 2014
That a man in his 60's can still make an album that sounds as fresh and exciting as this is amazing, perhaps even unique. TP has the rare skill of being able to create very simple music structures and combine them with very intelligent lyrics. His turn of phrase is brilliant and at times is challenging to follow. However, if deep and meaningful lyrics aren't for you and you just want to listen to classic rock music with great guitar sounds and hooks a plenty, this album will still fit the bill. I think that his music and his voice have improved with age. The opening 3 tracks in particular burn their melodies in your head from the get-go. 'Red River' in particular is truly magical both melodically and lyrically and my own personal favourite. The interplay between guitar and voice are exceptional all the way through this album.

Here are a set of really good rock songs written and played (on real instruments) by a group of guys who are masters of their trade. When looking back over rock music's history, perhaps 5 stars is a tad generous. But when you take into account his 38 years in the business and the very average material being produced nowadays, this album this fresh is a real achievement and stands out like a beacon. This is an absolute MUST buy.
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I agree with the chorus of praise for this album here. There are already plenty of detailed reviews and I only have a couple of personal observations to add.

This is classic Petty: excellently crafted songs with smart lyrics and good tunes delivered in that fine, almost sneering voice whose quality seems undimmed by the years. The Heartbreakers and Petty himself play with real bite and finesse so that the album has a genuine drive and snap to it and it's plain that they remain a truly class outfit.

I'm not sure there's anything startlingly original here, nor any individual songs with the utterly distinctive brilliance of Don't Come Around here No More or Free Falling, for example – but who cares? It's a fine album of very good songs by one of the great rock outfits of the last 40 years or so. Fans certainly won't be disappointed and I think this can stand proudly with Tom Petty's best albums.
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on 19 August 2014
Damn the Torpedoes was a seminal release and will always be included in a list of my favorite albums but over the last decade or so I have largely ignored any new input from Tom Petty . Having read a favorable review I decided to buy Hypnotic Eye and whilst I must admit it will never replace Damn the Torpedoes as my favorite Tom Petty and the Heart breakers release it is a commendable album in its own right. The formula is pretty straightforward with a clever production that seems minimalist but actually makes the album sound fresh and modern. Key tracks for me are Sins of my youth and the excellent Shadow People. Good release, this has reignited my interest in Tom Petty and a revisit to his other releases is imminent.
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