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Music Monthly
April, 2003

Mike Shupp
This Time
(Private Mind Records)

Hey gang, this is a very nice album. This Time is Mike Shupp’s third solo release and it is aimed squarely at the widening Adult Contemporary/Pop Rock crowd. Mellow R.E.M., Tom Petty, Wallflowers or Del Amitri fans will want to own this release. Shupp does a superior job of making perceptible and capitalizing on his refined songwriting talents, faceted musical abilities and singular singing style. Remaining lyrically sharp and frequently downright catchy, the bulk of the tunes center on the relationship/love interest theme. Truth is, about the only downside I could nitpick out of this entire 10 song set is that I seemed to grow slightly weary of this fact a little over half way through. I guess I was waiting for the “fun-lovin’ party rock” song or something. It never really came. Instead I got track 8, “Forgiven,” a down tempo and brilliantly moody lament on forgiveness. Actually, I enjoyed such a well-done surprise. It is worth noting that all the songs herein are quite strong. Better said, they are real and come across as honest and thoughtful. Shupp’s songs contain his outlooks on universal and timeless themes that will hold up well with any age group and against time itself. The actual passion of the performances in each song combined with the basic but quality recording production aid in presenting them in this realistic and earthy way. Absolutely zero fluff here.

Musically, the guitar work, if you listen closely, is ingenious. Shupp often chooses interesting chord voicings and subtle distinctive phrasing with the guitar parts. This does not cloud the tasteful vocal melodies or tromp over the other elements in the song. Instead, this quality draws you in to each of the songs’ overall vibe. Just as interesting is that Shupp performs all instruments here, except drums (aptly done by Chris Zogby). Something you’d never pick up on, save reading the liner notes. Seems that back in the day Mike Shupp was the guitarist in the early ’90s MCA Records band Big Bang Theory. He has since garnished regional and national airplay/gigs/press with his solo career. So, it seems to me Shupp’s due paying, and the life experiences that come along with it, have led him to this heightened level of straightforward no BS talent and his cohesive release This Time. I’ll close by simply suggesting that you grab a copy and enjoy it yourself.

— Tommy Mullins
( April, 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 Music Monthly All rights reserved.

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Ear Candy Magazine

Mike Shupp
This Time
Private Mind (mikeshupp.com)

REM, Elvis Costello, the DBs, Nick Lowe, the Pretenders, Marshall Crenshaw, the Smithereens.  If any of these artists are in your collection then, chances are good, you’ll enjoy this CD.  10 well written songs pumped full of jangly guitars, witty lyrics and steady backbeats.  “She’ll Come Around” and “This Time” are the two radio friendly tracks that immediately pop to mind.

— James Richard Oliver
( March 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 Ear Candy Magazine  All rights reserved.

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All Music Guide

Mike Shupp
This Time
Private Mind (mikeshupp.com)

This album is teeming with catchy melodies and sweet pop/rock arrangements.  From the opening notes of the title track or the shimmering “All Over Town,” Mike Shupp resembles a cross between Tom Petty and Michael Stipe as drummer Chris Zogby propels the music forward.  Another asset is how the musician eliminates any needless guitar solos or sonic slack.  “I’m having trouble knowing lately who I am,” Shupp sings on “Came to This,” but given his penchant for tight arrangements that teeter toward lo-fi alternative rock, he knows what he wants musically.  A track such as “Another Life” has been done literally thousands of times, but Shupp gives it a certain warmth courtesy of his delivery and better than average lyrics.  Fans of the Replacements All Shook Down album should find comfort in much of the record, especially the adorable twang emanating from “Set Me Free.”  “Good Again” is probably the best track simply because it offers up a slightly looser feel and some simplistic Keith Richards riffs.  The exception to the album is the somber and melancholic groove on “Forgiven,” a tune that takes a while to find its footing.  But “She’ll Come Around” steers the record back on track.  Although This Time has one or two slight drawbacks, the album is extremely well done.

— Jason MacNeil ( March 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 All Music Guide
All rights reserved.

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Miles of Music

Mike Shupp
This Time
Private Mind (mikeshupp.com)

From just outside Washington, DC Mike Shupp found some success as a member of local phenom Big Bang Theory during the early ’90s.  Shupp’s third solo disc finds him awash with his jangly and power-pop sensibilities still intact.  His sound brings to mind the likes of Matthew Sweet having been weaned on a diet of ’80s music from Athens.  Something of a sophisticated heartland roots-pop.  Says Larry O. Dean of Amplifier Magazine “The ability to come across as approachable, coupled with winning songs and smart, uncluttered arrangements, makes This Time a must-have…” (Private Mind Records) “The former Big Bang Theory guitarist has just released his third solo album, This Time, and it’s a killer.  Shupp is a renaissance performer, cut from the Marshall Crenshaw/Tommy Keene cloth; his songwriting is unpretentious and straightforward, almost transparent (that’s a good thing) and devoid of cliches… Vocally, Shupp brings to mind the underrated Darden Smith, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe (minus his huffing and puffing) and Windbreaker Tim Lee – gruff but warm pipes, plaintive and honest sounding; when he sings, you listen and are transported.” – Larry O. Dean, Amplifier Magazine. (Private Mind)

— Miles of Music
( February 28th, 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 Miles of Music  All rights reserved.

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Fufkin.com

Mike Shupp
This Time (Private Mind)

I have each of D.C. area artist Mike Shupp’s previous releases, but his latest disc—This Time—is far and away his best album yet.  Fans of the Pistoleros will feel right at home with Shupp’s melodic pop/rock tunes.  Radio-friendly tunes are abundant—you’ll find yourself humming along to “Came To This,” “Set Me Free,” “Ordinary Way” and “All Over Town.”  Discover Mike at www.mikeshupp.com

— Eric Sorensen
( December, 2002 )
Copyright © 2002 Fufkin.com All rights reserved.

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Music Monthly

Mike Shupp delivers the goods with This Time. …see Guadalcanal Diary, early REM, The Pixies, The Church, The Smithereens, The Bodeans… [Shupp] fits right in… This album is a professional collection of work. Do not be surprised if you end up recognizing his name down the road…

— Laurin Wollan
Music Monthly
January, 2003