Mojo - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. The playing is solid, but one wishes Petty & the Heartbreakers had simply covered some of those old Chess classics rather than trying half-heartedly to write their own -- it would have made for an album closer to intent.
  2. It's slightly indulgent at more than an hour long, but more likely that's just Petty's way of offering love for what his ageless band can do.
  3. Mojo sees Petty steep himself in Americana again, adopt a live-in-the-studio feel, and generally rock out. The results are initially quite perky, as the band crash and charge through songs, but after a couple of plays everything becomes rather dull.
  4. It's not news that these guys rock, but on their first new album in eight years the Heartbreakers have their Mojo working like they never have before-which is a fine thing indeed.
  5. While 12-bar twang, mean girls, and swampy harmonicas do populate the track list, Mojo is a rock record — and a good one at that.
  6. These aren’t classic Petty songs, but they are sturdy vehicles for a terrific, if frequently underrated band.
  7. Tuneful and gently flowing, Mojo is endowed with the qualities diehards expect from Tom ''Watch Me Rock Out Without Breaking a Sweat'' Petty. What it lacks is instant classics (didn't he used to be good for a few per album?).
  8. 80
    Tom Petty's turned his attention to a resume of his life so far -- 15 crunching, clever, moving tracks that make his earlier point far better, indicting the rest by breezy example. [July 2010, p. 96]
  9. Petty’s classic pop knack, breezy melodies and laid-back drawl take a back seat to Campbell’s meandering, jammy solos and the album’s overwhelmingly old-guy-blues sound.
  10. The album may be the loosest of his career, an unfussy, shuffle-mode assortment of blues-infused jams and steel guitar-haunted ballads that abandon the structural perfection that shaped his canon.
  11. It has some of the most well-written songs he’s released since at least as far back as 1985’s Southern Accents and, song for song, it maybe the finest recording of the band’s career.
  12. A bluesy, guitar-heavy record just like they used to make, then. What's not to llike? [Aug 2010, p.124]
  13. The performances are natural knockouts – cocksure grooves, pithy knife-play guitars and little overdub fuss – worked up, then nailed, some on the first full take, at the band's suburban Los Angeles rehearsal space. Petty can't help stressing the authenticity here.
  14. The record is long on instrumentals and short on singing, with Petty showing up mostly to fill space between guitar solos and extended jams, giving Mojo a higher Heartbreakers-to-Petty ratio than any previous release. But if Mojo is meant to be the band's showcase, it's not an especially successful one.
  15. Petty is a talented enough fellow to make even the most routine roots-music exercise sound lively and deeply felt—especially with Mike Campbell pumping out clean-burning guitar solos beside him—but while Mojo is amiable enough, it rarely sounds vital.
  16. And in Don't Pull Me Over – a plea to a police officer for clemency over marijuana possession, set to an Eric Claptonesque vision of reggae – Petty may have written the worst song ever.
  17. While there are still nods to the Heartbreakers’ 1980s bigness here, and to the bigness of others, they’re offered in an offhand style.
  18. 60
    Unfortunately, and rather ironically, Mojo is ultimately undone by the very virtuosity of its creators: the band stumbles repeatedly into that musican's trap of making music that sounds intended principally to impress other musicans. [July 2010, p.102]
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. CodyT.
    Jun 17, 2010
    6
    A great return for the Heartbreakers. But far from perfect. This album, while a little too long and bloated, does have redeeming qualities A great return for the Heartbreakers. But far from perfect. This album, while a little too long and bloated, does have redeeming qualities though. Styles range from Zeppelin-esque rock (I Should Have Known It) to honky tonk (Jefferson Jericho Blues) to reggae (Don't Pull Me Over). When Petty and his band DO bring home the bacon and fry it in the pan, its well worth the purchase. Full Review »
  2. LeoT
    Jun 17, 2010
    10
    WOW! These guys never disappoint. highly recommended.
  3. AndyB
    Jun 16, 2010
    10
    Possibly the most honest blues album i've heard in a very long time. The honesty that presents itself in every track is incredible.