Sound — 10
As usual, Tom Petty creates a collection of tunes that are great to listen to, sing along to, and learn to play on the guitar. With most of the album centering around Tom's acoustic Gibson and great lyrical talent, there are some excellent tunes on this album. "Saving Grace" is a beasty rocker, with a crusing feel ala "La Grange", while songs like "Square One" Make you want to just break down and cry, and demonstrate Petty's natural talent for songwriting.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrical content of the entire disk is very mature, with clever phrases and rhyme-schemes used to perfect affect. And while this is something that one should expect from Tom Petty, especailly at this point in his career, is is still a veritable treat for the poetically minded listeners among us. Some of Petty's lines on this album are beautifully thought out, and even if some of them don't make sense instantly, they all tie together in the end. As they should.
Overall Impression — 10
The impression of this album is much like early Heartbreakers stuff, though not too terribly removed from writing such as Johnny Cash's acoustic tracks, or Bob Dylan's more 'down to earth' tunes. A lot of the time, unlike a lot of the 'orchestration' Petty has done in the past, you feel like it's just Tom sitting in an armchair with his guitar. The rest of the time, you can hear a flair for arrangement that most other writers simply can't measure up to. Excellent album overall.