Nominally a soundtrack to Ed Burns' film She's the One, Tom Petty
's Songs and Music from "She's the One"
plays like an entity of its own, standing up quite well without the movie itself. She's the One
is one of Petty
's most relaxed efforts -- several of the songs feel like they were written and performed quickly, almost as if they were throwaways, but that ramshackle feeling actually works in the album's favor. With its loose ends, repeated songs, covers, brief instrumental bridges, and direct production, She's the One
is a ragged listen, but it's a comfortable, engaging, and surprisingly eclectic one. Petty
goes for a number of different moods, from the circular harmonies of "Walls (Circus)" (which features guest vocals from Lindsey Buckingham
) and the hard-rocking "Zero from Outer Space" to the melancholy ruminations of "Grew Up Fast." Along the way, he tosses in two excellent covers of contemporary songwriters -- Lucinda Williams
' slyly sneering "Change the Locks" and Beck
's stark, sad "Asshole" -- which are performed with affection and vigor. In fact, that vigor is what makes She's the One
so charming -- Petty
sounds like he's having a good time throughout the album. It's not a major statement in his catalog, but it's all the more entertaining because of its simple, direct approach.