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Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947

Audio CD

4.0 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 2, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

New album presents 12 new songs set against the backdrop of post-WWII America. Michael Penn is fascinated with the year 1947. On his new record, Penn weaves historical, political and social events and themes into 12 meticulously crafted songs that tell a series of inter-connected stories of human relationships and romance set against the backdrop of post-World War II America. Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 paints a picture of a Los Angeles that doesn't exist anymore. On this self-produced album, Penn is joined by many longtime collaborators, including Patrick Warren (keyboards), Aimee Mann (background vocals and bass) and former member of L.A. cult band The Grays, Buddy Judge (harmony vocals). Spin Art. 2005.

Amazon.com

Los Angeles troubadour Michael Penn offers a compelling argument here that personal obsessions can often be a songwriter's most compelling muse. An intriguing concept album that revolves around Penn's introspective take on the brave new world of post-WW II America as channeled by the thoughts of its protagonists, Mr. Hollywood makes little effort at recreating the era's musical aura. Instead Penn details his retro-L.A. landscape via the emotional states of his song cycle's rich cast of characters (which includes the bewildered returning vet of "Walter Reed" and the shadowy film-noir protagonist of "Room 715, The Apache"), a gambit that effectively bridges the decades: Their pensiveness and wistful anxiety seem all too contemporary. The era's technical/historical landmarks are noted by such brief, impressionistic sound pastiches as "The Transistor," "18 September" (the date the National Security Act was established) and the jaunty "Television Set Waltz." Penn's stately, melancholy way with a ballad forms a firm foundation, yet the album's two-part structural conceit (which replicates LP sides) and such adventurous fare as the hypnotic, ethnically indeterminate dirge "Mary Lynn," "Bad Sign"'s lush pop-blues and the jangly, cautious optimism of "On Automatic" insure it never rests on nostalgia or the merely familiar. --Jerry McCulley

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Walter Reed
  2. Denton Road
  3. Room712, The Apache
  4. Pretending
  5. The Transistor
  6. Mary Lynn
  7. 18 September
  8. The Television Set Waltz
  9. Your Know How
  10. A Bad Sign
  11. O.K.
  12. On Automatic


Product details

  • Audio CD (August 2, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mimeograph Records
  • ASIN: B0009WFFRM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,510 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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on November 15, 2005
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on March 20, 2015
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on May 8, 2007
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on September 29, 2005
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on August 2, 2005
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on August 2, 2005
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