This is where Petty's Dylan influence begins to rear its head. He made his name as an all-American, Byrds-inspired rock & roller, but on HARD PROMISES Petty began to explore a more reflective style, leaning on the softer side of his folk-rock roots. This is no NEBRASKA-there are plenty of spirited rockers and classy pop tunes-but Petty does sound like he's been spending some time with BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME. There are sharply observed character studies of hard-luck and no-luck guys ("Something Big", "Nightwatchman"), urgent power-pop declarations of romantic desperation ("A Thing About You") and even some light-hearted socio-cultural observations ("King's Road"). HARD PROMISES is Petty's first step towards the eclecticism that would mark his later work, and it's easily his most underrated album.