Rolling Stone - 4 stars out of 5 -- "This record is more of a band effort than the decades-delayed debut -- all of the members get writing credits, and all get a shot at a lead vocal. The songs tend to lean toward punchy Southern rock."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.98) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]here's a lightness of touch and a sense of fun here missing of late....Revisiting the past has done Tom Petty good."
Paste (magazine) - "Petty sings lead on most of the songs, but he also cedes the spotlight at times, allowing Leadon, Marsh, Tench and Campbell to take center stage for their own compositions."
Personnel: Tom Leadon (vocals, guitar); Benmont Tench (vocals, piano, organ, Mellotron); Tom Petty (vocals, bass guitar); Mike Campbell (guitar); Randall Marsh (drums).
Recording information: Shoreline Recorders, Malibu; The Clubhouse, Los Angeles.
Tom Petty reunited his original Gainesville band Mudcrutch for a lark in 2008. Their eponymous album and short accompanying tour didn't carry the feeling of unfinished business so much as a good-natured ramble through the past. Some old originals were excavated, new songs written, and old favorites covered, all wrapped up in a charmingly ragged little record that gave Petty a bit of a creative jolt. Afterward, he led the Heartbreakers through excursions in blues and garage rock, but that relaxed country-rock vibe proved irresistible, so he reconvened Mudcrutch for a second record in 2016. Titled 2, this second Mudcrutch LP isn't quite a straight sequel. Any of the loose ends left hanging from 2008 have been tied: 2 is streamlined and tight, the cover songs excised in favor of brand-new compositions from every member of Mudcrutch. Just because all five musicians contribute at least one song, that doesn't necessarily make Mudcrutch a democracy. Petty remains the quintet's undisputed leader, writing seven of the 11 songs and setting the tone for 2, emphasizing a thick, swampy guitar grind that nevertheless finds space for the country breeze of Tom Leadon's "The Other Side of the Mountain," Randall Marsh's AM '70s throwback "Beautiful World," Benmont Tench's retro-boogie "Welcome to Hell," and Mike Campbell's garage raver "Victim of Circumstance." All of these provide grace notes to a strong set of Petty originals that range from heartbroken ballads ("Beautiful Blue") and psychedelic stompers ("Hope") to Byrdsian jangle ("Save Your Water") and a revival of "Trailer," a Southern Accents outtake given a nice sludgy rendition illustrating that the main charm of Mudcrutch is their casualness. Nobody here is attempting a major statement; they're simply laying back and tossing off songs, but 2 is executed with precision, which is what keeps it crackling. It's a good-time record, but one intended to showcase how Mudcrutch hit harder and dig a bit deeper than they initially seemed to do. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine