Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Best Thing I Heard Today: Michael Penn doing "No Myth"

Well, I wasn't watching Arsenio, but you get the idea:

This song hit #13 in 1989, which makes me realize that 1989 was a different time, man. It's hard to envision a powerpop song with weird words and complex changes hitting that high today, or even getting any radio play outside Triple-A stations. Which is not to demean today's pop charts, because there's certainly plenty of great stuff and weird stuff that hits--it just doesn't sound anything like this. (Or like the Beatles, in other words.) I wonder when this sort of song was "phased off" the charts? (One thing in common with today, though: the drums on the single are entirely programmed!)

"No Myth" seems to be the definitive example of a debut song off a debut album that represents the peak of an artist's career. There were a couple other good songs on March, but otherwise it was all downhill from here for Mr. Penn! (It's a pretty high peak to start from, though.) The other definitive example might be Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart":

though other possibilities came up in this moderately fruitful ILM post.

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