“Let It Be made the Replacements into college radio and critical favorites, leading the group to a major-label contract with Sire. The band’s major-label debut, Tim, does represent a bit of a compromise of the group’s garage punk sound. Producer Tommy Erdelyi (formerly of the Ramones) helped clean up the band’s sound, primarily by harnessing the rhythm section to a click track – no longer does the band thrash all over the place, they keep a steady rocking beat. Similarly, Bob Stinson is kept in check, and his wildfire guitar bubbles above the surface only on two cuts, Dose of Thunder and Lay It Down Clown, which are both filler” (Erlewine).
“Some of the rockers, even the anthemic Bastards of Young, are gutted by the cleaner sound, but the overall effect of the record isn’t hurt, because Paul Westerberg turns in his finest overall set of songs, ranging from the charming love song Kiss Me on the Bus and the college radio anthem Left of the Dial to the detailed chronicles of loneliness like Here Comes a Regular, Hold My Life, and Swingin’ Party. Westerberg’s melodies and observations are sharper than ever, giving Tim an eloquent but edgy power that can’t be diluted by the tame production” (Erlewine).