Wise Fools Pub
2270 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614-3718
The Radio Hour, The Tearaways, Ruth Buzzy, Eugene Edwards Band, Leisure McCorkle, The Swizzlesticks, The Undercurrents
Mike plays the International Pop Overthrow Festival Chicago, 2003
[ Photos ]
4825 Belair Rd
Baltimore, MD 21206-5731
w/ Sahffi, Bree Sharp
The Tattoo, cool Baltimore club now under Andy Bopp’s (Myracle Brah) ownership, with Bree Sharp, of “David Duchovny” fame…
Big Takeover Magazine
Issue 52, Spring 2003
On his third solo record, Shupp, formerly of Washington D.C. power-poppers Big Bang Theory, swims in the cozy, melodic waters occupied by Matthew Sweet, Tommy Keene, and Paul Westerberg. Indeed, fans of each of those should find something to enjoy in this tuneful LP. From the Velvet Crush-meets-Tom Petty title track to the lovely yearning of “All Over Town,” Shupp, accompanied by Chris Zogby’s propulsive drumming, offers a series of tightly focused, well-turned songs. For aficionados, a veritable pop feast. (www.mikeshupp.com)
— John Micek
( Issue 52, Spring 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 The Big Takeover All rights reserved.
(Private Mind Records)
Does anyone remember when songs like Matthew Sweet’s “Girlfriend” conquered mainstream radio? Sadly, that seems like such a long time ago. Mike Shupp’s latest disc is a power pop clinic, and another fine representation of precisely what’s missing from the airwaves these days.
Aside from drums, this gifted Washington, DC area based singer/songwriter performs all instruments on This Time. The end product is a truly pleasing array of hum-evoking melodies in a tradition not too dissimilar from acclaimed former DC scenester, Tommy Keene.
Right out of the gate, the first three tracks (including the title song, “Came To This” and the wonderful Pete Yorn-ish “Another Life”) are a very strong opening statement. But, this disc is hardly front-loaded. Several other tunes are equally impressive, including “Ordinary Way”, “Good Again”, “She’ll Come Around”, and the brilliant closer, “Love Comes Down
While This Time navigates midtempo terrain throughout, Shupp’s acute ability to come up with varied hooks, textures and knob-turnings results in enough range to satisfy even the most discerning of pop fans. For more information, please check out Mike Shupp’s website at www.mikeshupp.com.
— Mike Sweeney
( April 15th, 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 Swizzle-Stick.com All rights reserved.
Private Mind (mikeshupp.com)
This former guitarist with Big Bang Theory has ventured out on his own for the third time with this album. And like many of his forefathers in R.E.M., The ‘Mats and Husker Du, Mike Shupp knows what works in guitar power pop. The short but alluring opening title track conjures up songs by BoDeans and Bash & Pop with its tight feeling while still being able to jangle at times. “Came to This” sets the bar quite high with a basic formula and some great crunchy chords. There’s a lot of Tom Petty figuratively heard in these ten songs, particularly in the airtight “Another Life”, a mid-tempo melodic pop number. The quality of each track is what sets him apart from so many others, however straightforward and simple the songs sound. “Set Me Free” has to be the best track here, a tune with a good flow and length. “Good Again” and “All Over Town” could be mistaken for Replacements out-takes circa All Shook Down. Only on “Forgiven” does Shupp stray from the format, resulting in a rather bland effort. Overall though, it’s a small price to endure for a very solid album.
— Jason MacNeil
( April 1st, 2003 )
Copyright © 2003 PopMatters All rights reserved.
(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.