Song of the Day #1,962: ‘Lucky One’ – Michael Penn

mp4Michael Penn is a less prolific, more Beatles-influenced version of Ron Sexsmith, whom I wrote about last week.

Like Sexsmith, Penn is as consistent as the sunrise — quality-wise — when it comes to delivering his brand of polished power pop.

But unlike Sexsmith, who reliably releases albums every couple of years or more, Penn is prone to long hiatuses.

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Song of the Day #1,752: ‘Mary Lynn’ – Michael Penn

mrhollywoodI can’t post a Michael Penn song on this blog without bemoaning his prolonged absence from the music scene.

Today’s track is a bit of Beatles-esque filler from his most recent album, Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947. That record came out in 2005 — yes, eight years ago!

That’s not a hiatus… that’s retirement.

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Song of the Day #1,511: ‘Invisible’ – Michael Penn

Time for some more ‘Pure Pop,’ this time in the person of Mr. Michael Penn.

Penn’s biggest influence has always been the ultimate pop band, The Beatles, and he’s never really strayed from his winning formula.

From the “Romeo in black jeans” exuberance of his first and only hit, ‘No Myth,’ to the last track of his last album, 2005’s Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947, Penn has delivered one hook after another, demonstrating talent and consistency that his more famous contemporaries would kill for.

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Song of the Day #1,382: ‘Half Harvest’ – Michael Penn

Best Albums of the 80s – #19
March – Michael Penn (1989)

I ranked Michael Penn’s second album, Free-For-All, higher on my list of 90s albums than his debut album sits here, but I consider them essentially equals.

Free-For-All owes its placement to a weaker field overall as well as my personal associations (it belongs to that fabled class of ’92, after all).

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Song of the Day #1,362: ‘Bunker Hill’ – Michael Penn

Best Albums of the 90s – #12
Free-For-All – Michael Penn (1992)

Another 1992 release, Michael Penn’s Free-For-All is more evocative of that year than any other on this list.

This album is the soundtrack of the summer of Hurricane Andrew, and listening to it today in my car, I half expect to turn the corner and see a downed ficus tree or a procession of National Guard trucks, as I did for several weeks in my Coconut Grove neighborhood.

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