Under the guidance of producer Rick Rubin
, Tom Petty
turns in a stripped-down, subtle record with Wildflowers
. Coming after two albums of Jeff Lynne
-directed bombast, the very sound of the record is refreshing; Petty
sounds relaxed and confident. Most of the songs are small gems, but a few are a little too laid-back, almost reaching the point of carelessness. Nevertheless, the finest songs here ("Wildflowers," "You Don't Know How It Feels," "It's Good to Be King," and several others) match the quality of his best material, making Wildflowers
one of Petty
's most distinctive and best albums.