Mike Bennett
Capsule Reviews:
December, 2002
Mike Shupp This Time (Private Mind)

The third installment of Mike Shupp’s continuing efforts on behalf of classic guitar pop songwriting. Let me throw out some names — Marshall Crenshaw, The Plimsouls, Firetown/Spooner, The Sighs — this album holds its own with those top flight acts. There’s no strong deviation in style from Shupp’s last album, which was swell. This is just a little bit better in every area — the songs are a bit sharper, the playing equals the songs and Shupp really engages his compositions with feeling. His guitar work is subtly terrific — listen to the lead guitar fills that he tucks into the verses of “Ordinary Way” that add color and texture. Shupp’s songs all share a smoldering drive that gives them a resonant appeal. Songs like “She’ll Come Around” and the title track push all the right jangly pop buttons, with Shupp folding in little melodic surprises amongst the bouncy guitar riffs. Again, Shupp plays everything but the drums, letting Chris Zogby repeat his skins work. To his considerable credit, you wouldn’t notice this fact without scanning the liner notes. This is an album that demands to be played loudly at home, but would also help you get your work done faster on your office computer. This sounds quite good now and will age quite well.

Mike Bennett
( 12/07/2002 )
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