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Palms & Runes Tarot & Tea: Michael Penn Collection


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Audio CD, April 17, 2007
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Palms & Runes Tarot & Tea: Michael Penn Collection + Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 + Resigned
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • ASIN: B0045DO8M4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,672 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By The Somnambulist on April 18, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Palms & Runes, Tarot & Tea is a collection of never-heard-before alternate takes, brand new versions of old favorites, and best-of-the-best album cuts -- selections from all five of Michael Penn's albums, spanning the course of more than 15 years.

This CD is so much more than your typical "Best of..." with Penn himself hand-picking the tracks, as well as the order in which they appear on the CD.

It's worth buying solely for its revamped version of "Cupid's Got a Brand New Gun" with a completely different feel from the original (on Penn's debut album, March) featuring a bluesy piano, a freer vocal, and a driving chorus (horns and all!)

The CD also contains a beautiful new rendition of "Long Way Down" (Look What the Cat Drug In.) This song's lyrics expertly convey the melancholy resignation of staying in a relationship well past its expiration date ("...if I wear apathy's crown, don't call me Highness, it's a long way down") even though "I've got a feeling she's been sleeping with the whole wide world."

If Penn's delivery of that line doesn't touch your heart, you've never been in love (at least not with the wrong person!)

Michael Penn wraps his pessimistic (or realistic, take your pick) and insightful lyrics up in pretty hooks and harmonies, mixing the sweet and the sour, and taking the listener someplace unexpected but ultimately recognizable.

And Palms & Runes, Tarot & Tea is simply a darned good collection of well-written songs that any fan of pop/rock/singer-songwriters should appreciate.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ex USAF on April 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am a longtime MP fan and have all of his albums. I bought this to hear the "remastered" versions of original songs, as well as the alternate versions. I can say that it is neat hearing the different versions of songs. However, I was a little disappointed that "No Myth" (which I think is the greatest song ever written) sounded pretty much exactly the same as it does on my 15 yr old CD of March. I thought it would sound better since it was "remastered." I was also hoping MP would have recorded an new version of it, or even included the awesome acoustic version.

MP also left off "This and That" which was his only other radio hit. I have heard that at his live shows, he refuses to play this song. I wonder if he has something against it because it is also an awesome song.

Overall, it is still a good collection, especially if you're a first-time Michael Penn listener.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tick tock on May 23, 2007
Format: Audio CD
As some have already stated, this is neither a proper greatest hits album nor a true treasure trove of outtakes and alternate cuts. It's a little of both, and while one may be drawn in by the qualities of each, neither truly satisfies; one must fall back on the overall quality of the songs themselves to appreciate this offering.

Sadly, there is also a conspicuous absense of live material, but from the looks of it, he has just rereleased his Hollywood album with a second bonus disc of live acoustic tracks. Perhaps they coupled it with the Hollywood album to boost sales, but that bonus disc would have been better served here among his best songs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Misha on July 14, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It took me awhile to get into Michael Penn, but when I did I got way into him. He's a superb writer who obviously loves The Beatles and Badfinger, and there is nothing wrong with that pedigree. I bought this collection, even though I own all his albums and I love the mastering job on these tracks; they really sparkle. More importantly, he knows how to write a complete song and how to wrap that song around a memorable melody. He is an articulate singer/songwriter and woefully underrated. This is a superb introduction to him, and also a great package for those who are more familiar with him. You won't be disappointed in this collection, even if you are not the committed fan that I am.
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