Highway Companion Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 26 Ratings

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  • Summary: The rocker's third solo disc has only one Heartbreaker (Mike Campbell) in tow, with the rest of the instrumentation handled by Jeff Lynne (who also produces) and Petty himself.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. A huge improvement on 2002's [The Last DJ]... a true return to form. [4 Aug 2006, p.67]
  2. Yet however familiar its themes may be, they all seem reinvigorated... by Petty's songwriting smarts and fantastically weathered vocals. [Sep 2006, p.110]
  3. 80
    Highway Companion abounds with Dylanesque first-, second- and third-person stories of rolling stones with no direction home, and how wear and tear is grinding them to a halt. [Sep 2006, p.90]
  4. A satisfyingly straightforward collection.
  5. At its core, it's moodier than most of his records.
  6. Highway Companion contains the most clear-eyed and hopeful songs that Petty has written in memory.
  7. So why is his new album so underwhelming? Because Petty has gotten away from his strength--whipping pop hooks into an emotional frenzy of harmonies--and has focused on his weakness: overly ambitious lyrics.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. CindyH
    Jul 27, 2006
    The work is reminiscent of his best.
  2. NateK
    Jan 27, 2009
    While I rank this 4th best in Petty's catalogue, with or without the Heartbreakers, Highway Companion is a lyrical masterpiece. It's almost Dylan-calibre, but without ever being self-conscious of it; in the end, it's all Petty. The predictable Jeff Lynne production, while leaving some to be desired in musical creativity, actually works to focus our attention to the lyrics in many very subtle ways (the use of electric piano on "Night Driver", the vibraphone on the waltz, "The Golden Rose"). The album's grooves unapologetically borrow from many (Dylan, Young, but especially George Harrison), but through the course of Petty's war-weary yet crisp voice--on top of his incredible round-a-bout tales of displacement, lack of closure, and coming to terms with it all--we soon realize we're not looking for anything new; we're coming home full circle. Expand
  3. TrevorB
    Jul 25, 2006
    I got this CD about two weeks ago and have got to say that it's been in pretty much constant rotation since then. The way Petty communicates the feeling of time fleeting and loss is relatable by everyone. The songs are beautiful and inspired. By far, this is the best CD so far of 2006. Expand
  4. MarkD
    Oct 12, 2006
    Tom was around for the best of Rock and or Rollin. Tom has allowed his music to evolve into 2006. Love this record!
  5. BrandonS
    Jul 25, 2006
    Is it as good as WIldflowers and Full Moon Fever? No. Is it an excellent collection by one of the greatest songwriters of our time? Absolutely.
  6. AndyW
    Oct 23, 2006
    Using similar riffs and harmonies, this CD sounds like the "Full-Moon fever" and "Wildflowers" efforts. Almost too much so..still enjoyable nonetheless. Expand
    Aug 6, 2006
    The only reason I did not give this a zero is because it's Tom Petty, but his voice is gone south, his creativity is gone south, and this album is nothing more than an attempt to get money. Come on, 12 years since his last album... whatever! I don't like giving bad reviews or sounding negative but this is absolutely awful! Expand

See all 17 User Reviews