Pepper

No Shame

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

For studio album number four, the guys of Pepper have done nothing more than continue the laid-back spirit of fun under the sun that they've been spreading since their inception in the mid-'90s. No Shame is full of all the mellow grooves and smooth vocals that fans have come to expect from the guys, light percussion and bright riffing rolling things along without a hitch. The Hawaiian trio understands the charm of effortless hooks and buoyant melodies, making their pop-rock-ska-reggae blend frothy and gentle. For Pepper, it's simply about chilling out with friends and lovers under the hot sun without a care in the world. Their piƱa colada pop/rock works well enough for those already converted -- most likely also fans of Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, or even 311 -- but for others, though quite easy to digest, it has the tendency to get somewhat mind numbing. The breezy Jack Johnson air of "Bring Me Along" and "Rent" is nice and soothing to start things off, the vocal stylings especially sweet, but it really only causes the comparatively brasher "No Control" to be all the more welcoming, if only for its change of pace. Sporadic randomness does occur outside of annoying skit inclusions, like the trashy reggae-hip-hop of "Like Your Style" and the sleaze-lite of "Point and Shoot," but they do little more than raise an eyebrow or two. The album isn't inherently bad, just very uniform sounding; bright patches, though, like "Your Face," "Old Time Problem," and the especially sparkling "Nice Time" could very well put a smile on most anyone's face. Overall, the incorporation of more tempo changes could do wonders for the entire No Shame experience, but somehow that doesn't seem to be the point here. The point is to relax and have a good time, and if that's your bag, Pepper effortlessly hits the mark.

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