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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: MP3 Music|Change

on December 2, 1999
It's really cool to see all the great comments about this album online. I have been a huge fan of Penn's since "March" was released. I was surprised and dismayed to hear that his first two albums are out of print.....(not so surprised when I took a second to think about the mainstream music industry these days). Anyway, by all means grab this CD immediately. Michael Penn is a true artist and craftsman in his writing, arrangement and overall musical brilliance. I am waiting with baited breath to get anything new he offers...."March" is an incredibly masterful album, yet in many ways I think this one is better...
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on April 7, 2007
-- if he were still with us.

The songs are very Beatleish and Penn's voice reminds me of JL- especially on 'Selfish', which also features a Lenny Kravitz slick solo lick.

Hard to not play over and over. MP is a musical genius. Amazing how much talent runs in the family- one of our best all time songwriters (underappreciated as he is) with a brother who acts up there with Deniro.
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on May 22, 2013
Well... what to say?
Michael Penn did a lot of albums, and probabilly I might say somethinkg wrong on them...
I prefer March above all.
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on January 29, 2000
Michael Penn's first two albums (now both unfortunately out of print) both sported a handful of beautifully crafted pop songs that stuck in the brain because of evocative lyrics and Penn's distinctive musical sense, but compared to "Resigned," both "March" and "Free-For-All" sound like mere warm-ups. Producer Brendan O'Brien, who produced "100% Fun," arguably Matthew Sweet's most satisfying long player to date, fleshes out Penn's sound and gives his songs a finished quality; where before Penn's music shone, now it shimmers.
Another factor that gives "Resigned" a greater cohesiveness is the consistent use of a four-piece band with Penn on guitar, Patrick Warren on keyboards, O'Brien on bass and Dan McCarroll on drums. The earlier albums had Penn and Warren at the creative center with session musicians filling in the rest of the parts. Here, all four musicians clearly have plenty of ideas, and the interplay is often stunning. Just listen to the intro to "Out of My Hands," with O'Brien's slightly distorted bass and Penn's delicate guitar figure playing off of each other, establishing a mighty sense of longing even before the vocals come in.
If "Resigned" has an overall theme, it is one of self-criticism: "Try" is an acidic, uptempo pop song full of bitter self-reflection; ditto "Selfish," which declares "You might find a prince a men/Until that day my name is Penn." Even when not directing his attention so unforgivingly toward himself, Penn keeps the level of craftsmanship high. "Small Black Box," which uses a nicely developed metaphor to essay the tendency to analyze things gone wrong, may seem modest at first, but its melody and lyrics are indelible. It's the kind of song you wish Paul McCartney would start writing. "I Can Tell," the album's majestic closer, is just as carefully constructed and emotionally resonant. As the strings fade at the end of the song, you might very well be compelled to start the CD over and listen to the whole thing again.
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on September 15, 2000
Reflection, bitterness, and highly literate, surprising lyrics abound on this fantastic album. Like most people I was aware of "No Myth" very popular and very catchy, but I did not become an overnight Michael Penn fan. In fact I soon forgot him. He was a nameless guy for me until I saw him play with his wife, Aimee Mann, last year. I echo other reviewers'sentiments. How could I not have been a fan all along? I managed to get my hands on all of Penn's albums, but the superiority of Resigned is clear.
From the cleverly written, musically accessible opener "Try" ("You take the fifth, as I give you the third degree. I don't try-- I don't wanna try you anymore.") and its lyrics which could be interpreted in several different ways... to the beautiful closing song "I Can Tell" there is not a single song on this album that is bad. I don't skip any of them. Favourites for me include "Try", "Me Around" (quite infectious, great lyrics), "Selfish", "Small Black Box" and "I Can Tell."
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VINE VOICEon February 28, 2007
Michael Penn is one of those artists who has never quite broken through to mainstream success. He deserves it. RESIGNED is another example of his talent. His songs are little gems; filled with intelligent and meaningful lyrics and melodies that show his Beatles influences. And it's the lyrics that will keep you coming back to his songs again and again. For example on songs like "All That That Implies" (To add insult to injury

The sum you gets means I agree

So you can call that empathy

And find someone else to blame)

and "Try" (" Watch you take the fifth as I give you the third degree) he quickly shows his verbal agility as he constructs his miniature examinations of the human condition. And anybody who can reference Underdog and Wally Cox and make it work is obviously a genius. Do yourself a favor; if the singer-songwriter sound is one you enjoy, don't miss an opportunity to add this to your collection.
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on April 4, 2015
Buy it, play it in the car, put it on your smartphone, tell your friends about it and every album he's done. Stop strangers in the street and ask them if they've listened to "Resigned". After buying "March" late 80s, I bought them all ie every album without previewing them because I knew I was listening to a true musical genius. He's up there with McCartney, Neil Finn, a class of his own, yet nothing like enough recognition for his abounding talent. This is a stunning album and it's hard to single out any track. Like Sgt Pepper, each time you listen (use headphones) you'll hear something new even on the 157th time round.
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on February 26, 2004
Beware of buying this album because it might make you a Michael Penn fan. This probably means you'll get frustrated later on by the fact that he doesn't record enogh albums!

Luckily for me, I don't get tired of listening to this CD. All of the songs are very nicely crafted, as is normally the case with Michael Penn, but this album packs more emotion than any of his other ones. It's very hard to judge the quality of an album by the sound samples Amazon provides, but if what you hear is remotely appealing to you, buy this album. You will thoroughly enjoy this music while you agonizingly wait to hear more.
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on January 20, 2009
I've played Resigned (some would say overplayed it) for more than 10 years and I'm not even close to being tired of it. It's got something to resonate with any mood I can conjure up. The music is guitar-driven for the most part but very textured and melodic; and the lyrics are nothing short of poetic.

The opening track 'Try' is instantly accessible in the best possible way. In less talented hands the love/courtcase analogy would come across as laboured or silly but Penn pulls it off effortlessly. One of the many things I've always liked about Penn's songs is his unpredictable and pleasantly obscure lyrics - 'Like Egypt Was' is a perfect example; maybe the only song in popular music with the words Etch-A-Sketch in it. Then there's everything from the aching lovesickness of 'Out of My Hands' to the melancholy and dramatic 'Figment' (a haunting love poem set to music that's by turns gentle and turbulent) - it all flows beautifully and nothing falls flat.

I've played Resigned to friends who haven't even heard of Michael Penn (some have vague memories of 'No Myth') and they wondered why they've never heard anything about it.

Where's the seventh star...?
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on January 7, 2001
Michael Penn is one of the world's least appreciated artists. I constantly marvel at his lack of success, as does every person I play his CD's to, and it is with "Resigned" that I marvel most.
This CD stands out from my collection as one of the most cohesive works of any artist. So often a CD has at least on turkey on it, but with "Resigned" every track is beautiful in its own right. Nor does this album suffer from sameness, blending ballads with rock tracks with ease for a varied mix which suits any listening mood.
"Try" is easily as catchy as his one hit "No Myth", its opening instrumentations the perfect intro to the album. "Like Egypt Was" is a rock track of startling originality, beginning in muted tones before jetting off in unpredictable directions. The standout for my tastes is "Out Of My Hands", a ballad so touching as to rival anything Sarah McLachlan or Aimee Mann can dish out.
"Resigned" stands as a favourite in my 100+ CD collection. Never growing old on the ear, never inappropriate for an occasion, it will accomodate all listeners.
One of the best least-known jewels in music today.
C. James Brown
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