Top

music

Stories

 

Michael Penn

Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 (SpinArt)

If most music critics are frustrated musicians, then most musicians are frustrated novelists. Some of this year's best records from Okkervil River, the Hold Steady and Aimee Mann double as sonic novellas, complete with character sketches and manuscript-like liner notes. Mann's better half, Michael Penn, throws his quill in the ink and offers up Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947, which chronicles one screenwriter's blues set in a specific place and time (take a guess on when and where). Given the themes of hollow glamour and tattered celluloid, it sounds like Penn is singing from the intersection of Sunset Boulevardand Mulholland Drive, though with fewer delusional blond starlets and more AAA-style rock. While a few of these tunes are excellent ("Walter Reed" and the raga-tinged "Mary Lynn" in particular), Penn has arranged these dozen songs around a somewhat flimsy, opaque storyline. Perhaps there will be a Cliffs Notes for this record (like R. Kelly's latest serial), but until then, the songs sound fine out of context.

 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 

Concert Calendar

  • April
  • Sun
    20
  • Mon
    21
  • Tue
    22
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
St. Louis Event Tickets
Loading...