I’ve had my fill of palm trees and lighting up Grauman’s Chinese
Michael Penn’s new record Mr. Hollywood, Jr. 1947, which comes out next Tuesday, has been completed for quite a while. The album was sitting in release limbo because of artwork licensing issues, and we here at MFR got a copy of it back in April, when I posted about it. I loved it then, I love it now. The songs are Just Plain Good, like this one, which is the leadoff track:
Michael Penn - Walter Reed
Though he’s been critically lauded for a while, Penn’s discography speaks for itself. His big hit was “No Myth” from the album March in 1989, and though only three albums have followed between then and now, they’ve all been met with praise. Mr. Hollywood, Jr. 1947 is not so much a concept album in narrative structure (at least not as much as his wife’s new album is), but the time and place of its title. It sounds like a sepia-toned photo without sounding old – just worn and warm.
Like I wrote back in April, I saw Penn live in a tiny restaurant surrounded by strung lights and Italian food, and it was amazing. The fact that his songs sound equally good – if not better – when accompanied by only a pianist is testament to his songwriting skills (though the beer didn’t hurt either).
You can pre-order Mr. Hollywood, Jr. 1947 here, or from iTunes (where you’ll get the bonus track “Down By the Riverside”).