Mike Shupp
This Time
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.