“American Girl” is one of the best songs of all time. That’s not even a debate. It’s a fact. It’s one of the best songs of all time. The more I repeat it, the more it’s true. It’s quintessential Tom Petty. It sums up his music and entire career in less than four minutes. It had a driving tempo, a signature guitar rift, and poetic lyrics that anybody can relate to. The lyrics can be complex: “God, it’s so painful when something that’s so close/Is still so far out of reach.” But they are also mind-numbingly simple and cliché: “Oh yeah/Alright.” The song basically represents Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It came off their debut album, it never made the charts in the US, but it still became part of the soundtrack of our lives, whether you know it or not. It’s one of the most covered songs and a staple of garage bands around the world. It’s fun to play, it’s fun to sing, and it’s fun to listen to. It’s timeless. You can’t get sick of it. However, you can get sick from cunnilingus, just ask Michael Douglas.
Critically Rated at 16/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young