The Last DJ - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 1 out of 14
  1. His most consequential songs in years. [11 Oct 2002, p.83]
  2. Earnest and straightforward, as rock and roll should be.... The Last DJ is clearly an expression of what Tom Petty feels right now, and his honesty -- coupled with his talent -- is revitalizing.
  3. A little more electric guitar would've helped, but these tales of capitalism gone amok are worth checking out.
  4. It's always sort of tough to rally behind an artist dissin' the music industry—I mean, how do you support someone who's living a rock star's life but still complaining, right? But Tom Petty makes it all too easy here, slyly balancing bitter references to modern-day payola, shifty execs, and even the struggles of artists over 40 with wistful imagery of rock'n'roll dreams.
  5. 70
    Taken all together these songs pack a powerful punch and make for a much better record than we might have expected. [Dec 2002, p.108]
  6. 60
    Pale fire, but fire nonetheless. [Dec 2002, p.130]
  7. The Last DJ is quintessential Petty, by turns strident and starry-eyed.
  8. Petty's thesis is strong, but his argument falters too often.
  9. Tom's not quite so lovable when he's preaching his anti-non-Petty doctrine in a series of songs that often don't rise above the level of mediocrity themselves.
  10. While Petty is to be commended for putting himself on the line in some manner for his beliefs, the spirit of music would fare better if people of his stature took a harder stance than he does here.
  11. 40
    Sadly, though, if Petty's fourteenth album fails to emulate the success of his best work, it won't be because corporations have conspired to turn off his mic, but because it's simply not as good. [#10, p.127]
  12. Petty sounds like a bitter old man howling at the moon. [Dec 2002, p.110]
  13. Throughout The Last DJ, Petty sounds utterly lost -- and instead of liberating him like it did in the past, it paralyzes him, boxing him into a corner where he can't draw on his strengths. It's the first true flop in a career that, until now, had none.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. Feb 6, 2011
    8
    Took me about 2 or 3 listens...but I thoroughly enjoy the musicianship and connection of the songs. A lyrical and musical journey. No hitsTook me about 2 or 3 listens...but I thoroughly enjoy the musicianship and connection of the songs. A lyrical and musical journey. No hits stand out, but as a whole is complete. Full Review »
  2. DSmith
    Feb 28, 2007
    8
    Petty is making a strong and true point about the modern music industry. All modern music is either some black guy talking really fast synth Petty is making a strong and true point about the modern music industry. All modern music is either some black guy talking really fast synth beat, or a bunch of the same guitar chords. None of it requires any skill, and I have to give Petty a pat on the back for stepping up and publically recognizing that. However there were some songs that were not quite up with the others, especially in the second half of the album. Full Review »
  3. BrandonS
    Jun 9, 2006
    9
    Fantastic album. I've never been more baffled by many people's distaste for this one. After the awful "Echo," I was worried that Fantastic album. I've never been more baffled by many people's distaste for this one. After the awful "Echo," I was worried that Petty had lost it. Instead, he returned in top form. Full Review »