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 )
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