"Free-for-All is perhaps the most underrated albums I have ever encountered. Penn is a brilliant songwriter and he is at his best here, creating a collection of songs that should be considered one of the great rock-and-roll albums of the past twenty years. At a mere ten songs Free-for-All is brief, but Penn's lyrical depth gives it an impressive density. I cannot recommend this album enough."
My favorite Penn album
jokamachi | california | 01/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Over the past 18 years almost all of Penn's records have been consigned to the sideline while far less capable songwriters hog the spotlight, and let me tell you, this doesn't sit well with fans of MP. Not that Penn needs glory to be brilliant, it just would have been nice to see the man receive the attention he so richly deserved. That said, thank the maker he's still making records, albeit at a leisurely pace. Find this underrated gem and hear what you've been missing.
Catchy and Different
sdwagle | 06/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm like to hunt for stuff that sounds lyrical and professional, yet "not what I hear on the radio". This CD has a nice blend of poetic vocals and sound effects. It is slightly folk-y... but it does rock just enough to be lively, in an REM kind of way. Recommended."
Michael Penn - Underappreciated Artist
Steven Sly | Kalamazoo, MI United States | 12/27/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Michael Penn might be best known as the brother of actor Shawn Penn and the husband of singer songwriter Amie Mann. For a brief time in the early 90's it looked like Michael was going to really hit it big. His previous album had a huge hit with the song "No Myth", and became by far his best selling disc before or since. Penn still has a loyal, albeit small following to this day, but he never really was able to capitalize on his big hit and pretty much faded away from radio. This is too bad because Penn is a very good songwriter and "Free For All" is a fine example of what he is capable of. This is one of those albums that every time I pull it out I think that I need to pick up more of Penn's stuff. Penn is a singer songwriter, with music that is somewhat folk- ish, but also rocks in places. His musical partner on this one is keyboard player Michael Warren who has a unique style and compliments Penn's guitar. Penn's lyrics are strong and a bit quirky. Overall this is a very good album from an artist that should be a lot more popular than he has become."