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MP4: Days Since a Lost Time Accident
     

MP4: Days Since a Lost Time Accident

by Michael Penn
 
For more than a decade, this singer/songwriter has been one of the foremost torchbearers of traditional -- if slightly egg-headed -- power pop, a reputation he shores up on this long-awaited return to action. Penn is still possessed with one of the sweetest, most melancholy voices in rock, an instrument he puts to fine use on the ten subtle tunes contained here.

Overview

For more than a decade, this singer/songwriter has been one of the foremost torchbearers of traditional -- if slightly egg-headed -- power pop, a reputation he shores up on this long-awaited return to action. Penn is still possessed with one of the sweetest, most melancholy voices in rock, an instrument he puts to fine use on the ten subtle tunes contained here. Thanks to a real-life romantic involvement with kindred spirit Aimee Mann, his tone is a bit less downcast than on earlier releases, but that leaves more room for Penn to show off his slightly twisted storytelling skills (as on the hearse-set "Lucky One"). While MP4 can get a bit repetitious, due to Penn's reluctance to really cut loose and either pump up the volume or pour on the melodrama, devotees of pure pop will probably find it the aural equivalent of a long hot-tub soak.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
When Michael Penn released MP4: Days Since a Lost Time Accident, the strict playlist of adult-alternative radio made it pretty clear that it'd be difficult for him to have a hit, so Penn doesn't even try - he just creates a record for himself and his cult. Brendan O'Brien, the producer of Resigned, mans the boards on the opening cut "Lucky One.." It's not just the only song on MP4 not produced by Penn, it's the only song that sounds like a blatant attempt at a radio-ready single. That it succeeds gloriously -- it's the first sure-fire follow-up to "No Myth" -- speaks of Penn's prodigious abilities as a craftsman. The rest of the album is equally well crafted, but more subtle in construction and production, without hooks that leap out of the speaker. They're there, but they're delivered subtly, letting each song slowly work its way into a listener's memory. Penn knows that whoever puts on MP4 is willing to delve deeply into the record, willing to spend time with it to find its rewards. It's to his considerable credit that he delivers. MP4 doesn't have a knockout punch, but it is an expert pop album -- tightly sequenced and written, filled with small gems. It's the kind of album that's ideal for cult audiences, since it's familiar yet doesn't stand still (the production takes some risks, albeit minor ones). It may not win Michael Penn any new fans, but it'll certainly satisfy the devoted.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2000
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074646935422
catalogNumber:
69354

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