The Mudcrutch album (which came out months ago in April...yes, I'm behind, but I have had it since then...so there!) is good, but I'd obviously take a good ol' TP & the HBs album any day over this. I would have loved to hear Mudcrutch 35 years ago, before the Heartbreakers, before the money, before (excessive) drugs and fame, before over-produced albums (thanks Dave Stewart). It would have been awesome, probably in the same way that you might have heard Sir Thomas for the first time...whether it was "American Girl" in the 70s, "Runnin' Down a Dream" or "Free Fallin' " in the 80s, "Mary Jane's Last Dance" in the 90s...and I guess whatever he's put out in the 2000s... Only with the original trek of Mudcrutch in the 70s, you would know that TP and the 'Breakers are youngsters by appearance, not by their ability by any means.
Mudcrutch is more of a country rock album- heavier on the country side. Think the Byrds meet Tom Petty (imagine that, it's a stretch, I know) meet a country band of all the old guys that hang out in the neighborhood bar...and one og them plays a banjo.
Don't get me wrong- I like the album; it's good. However, it's no Damn the Torpedoes, Full Moon Fever, Wildflowers, or even half of the country, Southern-y Southern Accents album. Hell, it's not even the Traveling Wilburys, which is probably the closest sound to Mudcrutch out of all of these albums and the Petty eras, audio-wise.
Those are what the real Tom Petty is to me.